Stephen Elop of Nokia has never been shy when it comes to how he feels about Android. To put it simply, he doesn’t like the little green guy. When faced with record lows and an uncertain future, he pushed Nokia towards Microsoft. But why? Nokia could have taken their impressive hardware and blossoming designs and added any sort of custom user experience they wanted. All while still giving users access to one of the most impressive app markets and competitive ecosystems out there.
In a recent interview with the Verge’s Thomas Ricker, Elop spoke out on the customization of Android and how aftermarket UIs are what’s bringing the platform down.
In terms of (Windows Phone) doesn’t allow for the Sense UI or whatever, I would suggest that one of the biggest challenges facing that particular ecosystem is the fact that there is more and more of that going on. And when I go into the store and look at what that brand was supposed to stand for, I’m not quite seeing it — it’s just unclear what the standard is for the user experience.Stephen ElopNokia
The customization of Android is certainly a two-way street. In some cases, it really tarnishes the Android name and leads to delayed updates due to manufacturer and carrier changes. But those deep levels of customization are also where Android really shines. Companies like HTC have set themselves apart by using Sense and all of the special features that come with it. Motorola is constantly working to improve their custom UI, and so is Samsung. Both are far better now, causing some people to steer towards the Galaxy S II just for the extras that TouchWiz brings to the table.
And besides, secondary UIs could be in for a major change once ICS is made available. Take Honeycomb for example. Manufacturers have added custom software and apps to Honeycomb tablets, but the main UI has never strayed too far from the stock experience. If a similar approach is taken with Ice Cream Sandwich, then update delays could become a thing of the past.
It’s a shame to think what Nokia could have done with Android. Can you even imagine Ice Cream Sandwich on the gorgeous Nokia N9? If you ever change your mind, Stephen, I know at least one person who will give you a second chance.