Sep 25 AT 9:32 PM Dustin Earley 77 Comments

An open letter to Nokia and CEO Stephen Elop

Lumia Nexus by Milanno Artworks Image via: Milano Artworks

Dear Nokia,

I fear the next time I write you, it will be to say goodbye.

I’ve noticed you’ve run into a bit of trouble lately with your handset business. It seems as though you could use some advice from someone who cares. Allow me to start from the beginning.

You had one clear message when you announced your first Microsoft powered Lumia phones: these are the real Windows Phone devices. And you weren’t just blowing hot air. Microsoft backed you up. They even appeared on stage to help drum up excitement and drive that message home.

You seemed to hold a special place in the manufacturing line for Microsoft. Where RIM and Apple make their own hardware, Nokia, you would be that for Microsoft. You made sure Microsoft felt comfortable with that decision by going all in on Windows Phone, too. Then came the announcement of the Microsoft Surface.

Instead of the Lumia Surface, or Lumia 10 (for ten inches), Microsoft announced they’d be making their own hardware. Ouch. Sorry, Nokia. Apparently, even though you pledged allegiance to Microsoft, they still couldn’t trust you to deliver. You aren’t good enough to make their flagship tablet. But at least you still have phones, right? Yeah, about that.

This past week, HTC teamed up with Microsoft to announce both the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. HTC is calling itself “the new face of Windows Phone.” Which is totally cool with Microsoft. I mean, c’mon, Windows Phone is the name of both devices.

Shouldn’t you have Windows Phone in the title of your devices? Like the Windows Phone Lumia? Microsoft is getting behind HTC now. You can keep doing their thing, but HTC is where it’s at. Again, sorry, Nokia. Microsoft couldn’t trust you with tablets, and now they can’t trust you with phones. So what now?

Elop, we know you made some rather unfriendly comments towards Android in the past. But we’re willing to forgive you. And so is Google. I’m sure they’d love to work with you.

Look. We’ve seen the article in Reuters. Reporting that you, Elop, have until early 2013 to turn things around. To prove that betting the farm on Microsoft was the right thing to do. Do you really want to keep waiting? You placed everything you have in Microsoft, and they just proved they aren’t willing to place everything they have in you. How many more times do you have to be stabbed in the back by Ballmer and company before you realize it’s time to get out?

You don’t even have to do everything Google wants. If you don’t like how Android looks, change it. You can still lean on the massive ecosystem and developer support Google has amassed. No other platform can offer that to you. That’s the truth. Any other platform you could flock to would either limit what you can do with software or offer no developer and user support.

Nokia, Elop, you can make Android your own. It has a huge, robust ecosystem. It’s already the winning platform in terms of marketshare. The cost of admittance is free. What else do you want? You’re not Microsoft’s number one anyone. You’re playing second fiddle to HTC now.

I can promise you a Nokia manufactured Android device would sell like crazy. Look around you. Google search “Lumia Nexus.” The demand is there. You just have to snatch the opportunity. You can still make Windows Phone devices if you want; both Samsung and HTC have a hand in Android and Windows. You’re just running out of time.

I hope this made some sense to you. You’re a master craftsman of hardware. You have some of the most talented engineers on the planet working for you. You have a loyal following. You know how to command the marketplace. Don’t waste it all waiting for Windows Phone to take off. I’d hate to see you go. We’d all hate to see you go.

Dustin Earley

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • ZzX44

    So cold but so true…

    • tmihai20

      There are people in the industry thinking an Android powered Nokia would not be received well. I would buy one, I’ve been waiting for it for a long time. Nokia owes it to its fans to try Android too. I strongly believe this will not happen, sadly; at least, not while Elop is in charge. And by the beginning of 2014 it will be too late.

      • uzunoff

        Nokia should have followed HTC and Samsung and release phones with all mobile OSes.
        Than you can always increase or decrease the OS offerings where needed.
        Just like HTC and Samsung did. They got rid of the Windows Mobile 7 because it wasn’t selling.

        Not Windows mobile 8 is the new king and they are joining in again.

        Not sure why Elop thinks it is a good idea to put all their eggs in one basket. But they need to wake up and embrace Android or follow RIM into the history.

        A mid range Android phone made my Nokia will sell like crazy. Especially if they put one of those awesome cameras that they have.

      • Homncruse

        I would buy an Android powered Nokia.

        I’d buy more than one, but it’s a Nokia phone. They’re made of indestructanium.

        • Olo

          Nokia + Android + PureView camera = FU(K EVERYONE ELSE!!!

  • nthoendel

    Darn Microsoft… Trying to set a standard for their tablets when none of their hardware partners were delivering. Clearly a backstabbing move. Nokia should jump ship on them because of that.

    • ZzX44

      Did anybody have a chance to deliver? Last I checked W8 tabs were out next month or something. Forgive my lack of interest.

      • moasdbb

        Oh!Friends!Android Tablets!Maximum discount of 62%!Android various models of tablet PCs have!Very cheap!Do not miss it!

    • ionorov

      The Surface may not have been a back-stab… but having HTC phones as “Signature Windows Phone 8″ devices is not exactly supportive, is it?

  • oddball

    That would be incredible. Nokia makes awesome hardware. Getting android on it would be a huge draw

  • redraider133

    It would be amazing if Nokia made android devices especially a nexus.

  • Aakash

    Lumia Nexus would be, in my opinion, the best seller of all nexus devices. We will wait for it Nokia, hope you get your senses back soon!

    • Able Lawrence

      I waited some time for a Nokia Android and gave up and bought Samsung only when they shattered my hope

      • Olo

        I know that feeling bro, I would gladly trade my SIII for a lumia running android

  • Mudassir Ali

    So true. I’d hate to see you go, Nokia.

  • MJM128

    A nexus device by nokia would be a great hit. Even if nokia could easily snatch up 10% of android device sales in a year or so, and that’s better than anything that WP7 has done for them. There’s nothing wrong with playing both fields. I have a feeling it’s going to come true that Nokia risked too much on Windows Phone.

  • jamal adam

    A Lumia Nexus, Oh Lord!! That would be one helluva smartphone. Their hardware with Android software would be a winning combination but then again, they made their choice clear when they went to Microsoft.

  • Tyler

    The Lumia line is impressive and Jelly Bean is the first OS that can directly compete with iOS in terms of polish. Seems like a given.

  • NokiaFan

    Nokia brands is love/known by the 90′s/2000′s generation. If they dont do this soon, Nokia will soon be forgotten.

  • DonIsGood

    Lumia Nexus? Really? Having seen HTC’s 8X, I’d rather see a HTC 8X Nexus instead

    • kitpogi

      I for one, would rather see HTC make the Nexus again…although, I also would like to support Nokia to rise up again with Android…Nokia just needed to get on board. Android is the Now and the Future!

  • rpras

    Hmm. Interesting idea. At least a particular fruit company agrees that Lumia design is unique enough to not sue.

    Seriously though, bring removable battery and that PureView camera and I may be persuaded to purchase the Lumia Nexus-but no skinned version of Android.

    • iamXiV92a

      True story – Anyone notice how the Lumia and the Windows Phone 8X look A LOT alike??

  • Dr.Carpy

    This letter is extremely thoughtful and well written. The unfortunate part is that even if Stephen Elop were to read this, I fear that he is far too wrapped up in not admitting that foregoing Android for Windows was a critical mistake. Then, to have Microsoft turn around and become their own vendor? Wow Nokia. What will it take for you to wake up?

    • ionorov

      I think it was MS that needed Nokia at the time. That’s why Nokia was paid millions (billions?) to go all in with Windows Phone.

      Have a friend working in Nokia. The general perception is that MS needed them and actively wooed them.

      If that’s true, then Nokia is pretty much being bum-raped by MS. And they only have themselves to blame … they believed Ballmer when he said there were lollies in the van :D

  • pride

    their pride will be their downfall.

  • zero

    If they used Android on their hardware waaaay before, there is a better chance that they could be on top of the market by now. A Nokia Android Phone? Who wouldn’t buy that?

  • Ardrid

    I, personally, would love to see an Android based Lumia. Nokia knocked it out of the park in terms of industrial design with that device. Doesn’t hurt that they paired it with some truly insane optics as well.

  • cb2000a

    Sad to see a great company going down like the Titanic.

  • Manikandan Palanisamy

    Hi I am very eager to get the android device from Nokia…. My first mobile was Nokia 1100 which is unforgeable device from Nokia. Same business Nokia can give again once its turned in to android OS. Hope we ll get soon, and best of luck to Nokia…

  • DavidB

    i don’t know if WP is the right platform for Nokia, but I am pretty sure Android isn’t. Nokia has for a very long time made their own software or used one which very few other manufacturers shared. While they do not own WP (unlike how they own Symbian), they can very well make buying WP device synonymous to buying a Nokia device. Just like how Symbian is synonymous with Nokia too.

    In fact, I don’t think it makes any sense to buy a WP device that ISN’T a Nokia. HTC or anyone else has nothing close to Nokia Maps (Google Maps is likewise not even close), or the imaging know how to make it big and moreover there is a team up with Nokia and Microsoft that is showing through and through.

    My Nokia N8 running Belle has been updated and now it even has Microsoft Lync, Broadcast and Office Mobile all for FREE. The above blogger is looking at things from the surface level and of course Microsoft wants more penetration, but even the highly penetrated has a FAVOURITE bedmate right?

    • Derrick Best

      Are we still talking about Nokia or something of a different nature. Penetration…. bed material? O o

  • Nick Georgopoulos

    I still remember my N95. What a great phone, unbelievable features for its time. I sure hated to switch after my N97 purchase. They still make the best phones. Very unfortunate decision to on sell Windows phones. A disservice to their fanbase and employees, who are now losing jobs.

  • nobara

    OK, Nokia, it’s clear now. We need a Nokia Android device, Lumia or something, so get down to work, make us happy as you you’ve done this in the past.

  • masterpfa

    I personally am not a great Nokia fan, I fell out of love once I stopped buying Symbian phones. I could in fact take or leave a Nokia Android phone, but like us all we have a choice.

    I would welcome Nokia to the Android fold, to give those that would seek a Nokia that choice. I believe they made an error of judgement to not only go all in to Microsoft and Windows Phone, but also to criticise Android in the way Elop had done.

    The board of Nokia will ultimately make this choice, but 1000′s will suffer with their jobs and livelihood if the stubborn and wrong choice is made.

  • Derrick Best

    That mockup is so gorgeous. I want one. Normally I would say that is really nice and move on. I really want this. There should be a fan site. Wish there was a way to drum up massive interest. Anyone agree.

    • ionorov

      I’d sign up in a jiffy :)

  • Lars

    An overwhelming majority of Windows Phone fans will get the Nokia Lumia 920, 82% in fact: The Lumia line is still very much the face of Windows Phone, no matter what HTC calls its new WP8 devices. Windows Phone as a smartphone platform might fail in the long run, though.

  • ionorov

    Man… imagine a cyan Lumia that matches Android’s holo theme… that would be drooltastic.

    IMHO, the phone makers with the best designs are Nokia and Sony. These guys know how to make beautiful phones, and how to incorporate colours (not the lazy-ass way Samsung just slaps white and pink to their phones).

    HTC has improved leaps too. Their my best hope for a well-designed phone with bright colours.

    • iamXiV92a

      Cyan Lumia running CyanogenMod or Lime Green Lumia with Paranoid Android… I need to clean up my drool.

      • Themycles

        Can you imagine a hardware maker working WITH the CyanogenMod team?

  • That Guy

    I love android but even I would know that Nokia would get swept up in a sea of other android handset manufacturers. There would be an initial wow factor but there would be no guarantee people continuing to purchase whatever Nokia could put out. Eventually people will still buy the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the 1080p HTC/Oppo phones, and Nokia would be left in the dust just with a different mobile operating system.

    • Booster Gold

      What they should have done from the start is make Windows phoneS, make Android phones and make their own phones. When everything goes bad that’s when switching OS’s becomes futile. There is no comeback for Nokia because there’s some hard headed bastards in that company. Add some windows phone fanatics and Its a recipe for disaster. Don’t get me wrong I love using windows on my PC, but the phone OS sucks.

  • Chad

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I always said when the original Lumia came out that if it had Android I’d buy one but never for Windows b/c I’m just too tied into the Android ecosystem to switch over. Especially if it was a Nexus variant I’d definitely buy because I only buy Nexus phones. HTC had their turn, Sammy had theirs, and now it’s Nokia’s turn for a Nexus. C’mon Elop!

  • Nitrogen

    Oh, if only. Really Lumia Nexus would look very cool.

  • alexmaco

    nokia and android whould kick ass

  • Elias Zuniga

    Very well stated case for Nokia to give Android a shot. Many of us Android users are former Nokia users that have defected. For what it’s worth, I actually tweeted your article to Nokia and they replied that they did read it.

  • fc1032

    :D The closest thing to a Lumia Nexus would be a N9 with Android port.

    On a serious note, yes, I’d totally buy a Nokia 920 running Android. Why?
    * The camera: The nexus line has never really had a nice camera. Decent, but not outstanding.
    * Besides the N1, the other Nexus have OK build quality. The N1 was sturdy, balanced and well built. I think the Nokia lumia design would be a nice continuation of good build quality.
    * Wireless charing on a nexus would be great, as it would help push it to become more common on droid phones.

    • fc1032

      And yes, i’ve considered a N9 with android port :p too bad its not functioning all the well to be a daily phone.

  • MoSDeeb

    Not sure if Elop would even release an unlocked Android phone. He seems like a CEO who would rather coddle with Carriers than consumers.

  • etche

    I think it’s quite obvious they have already signed loads of contracts and they can’t do anything to change that. They have already sold their soul to the devil.. and no refunds are accepted!

    I think WP8 will be a really nice OS, once it takes off.. and I’m not sure if we really need Nokia on our side. At least, when WP8 takes off, and nokia phones sell better than right now, competitiveness should be tougher and Android OEMs should start investing more and more in beautifully designed and nicely built phones.

  • w00x

    The Lumia 920 looks so good that I just want to have it! I want to keep my One X and get a Lumia 920 just because it looks awesome!

    I’ve been hoping for Nokia to produce an Android powered device since the beginning. I’ve never been a fan of Samsung electronics and have had 3 HTC Android phones so far, but if Nokia makes an Android phone, I will definitely be considering it.

  • lolobabes

    Totally agree, jump before the ship sinks you into the abyss. ahihihi

  • shadhussain

    @Dustin Early: some really solid commentary of late. Great stuff.

    • shadhussain

      sp. *Earley*

  • hasan

    This would definitely put the iPhone to bed. Lumia Nexus with their beautiful design and amazing camera.

  • Dwin

    If Nokia made a stock Android device or “Lumia Nexus” I would absolutely buy even though I just got an iPhone 5. Unfortunately none of the Android hardware manufacterers have been able to make what I consider the perfect device. The One X is closest, but I hate HTC Sense and really don’t feel think being forced to root to load stock Android is the best solution.

  • Ivan

    Apple or Android phone? The mobile OS war has long been a two-player contest, with Apple iOS and Google Android , but I think IPHONE THE BEST

  • Gilbert Cheng

    A Nokia Nexus would rape the market. The N8′s camera was fantastic even though the phones overall performance was a letdown. Nokia needs to quit with the half brained experiments like the Pureview 808. Admitted, the new top end of the Lumia series looks mildly interesting, but I’m not sold on WP8.

    Give us an unbranded clean stock (vanilla) Jelly Bean Android with a 12 MP back camera and a 2 MP front camera with a newer chip like the S4 or Tegra3, a screen around 4.2″–4.6″ with above 320ppi, HDMI, NFC, 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal memory with MicroSD support and we will simply give you our money even it is $800. There are enough apps out there that every Android manufacturer is wasting precious resources figuring out gimmicky features to try and differentiate themselves with when all us Android users are asking for it better hardware minus the customizations.

    I believe I can confidently speak on behalf of a good 95% of Galaxy Nexus users.

  • Nightyume

    Personally I have never liked Nokia but have to admit I have been a fan of their cameras. Even considered getting their pureview 808 with 41MP camera JUST for the camera…

    But having said that I don’t know if it’s fair to say that Miicrosoft is backstabbing them. They might very well be, but there were enough rumors to indicate that that may not be the case.. I remember rumors of a Nokia Windows tablet from a ways back. It’s quite possible that they were given a chance but that Microsoft didn’t like the final product and chose to do the Surace (this is pure speculation). As for HTC’s recently becoming their darling, I’d have to say that that is logical if you look at the devices. The new Lumia’s look quite a bit like the previous ones and don’t exactly scream Windows Phone 8. HTC’s 8X on the other hand does look like the OS (thanks to its square-ish design). And for those saying that the 8X and 8S look liike the Lumias… why is that? Because of the colours? Many phone makers have been using a variety of colours for years, please don’t go down the Apple route and suddenly say that Nokia has diibs on certain colours.

    Nokia’s switching to Android might not be a success. Yes, it might keep them afloat, but as their star has been fading there’s no guarantee that they’d rise to anywheree near their former glory. But then again their brand has enough pull that they just might be able to swing it. Basically if they swithced OSs I’d think of it similar to RIMs BB10: a chance to stay afloat but definitely no guarantee of it.

  • tt

    Nokia CEO is smoking crack. He is doing very terrible job. Should get fire

  • jamal adam

    Clearly, Microsoft eloped with Nokia (pun intended).

  • lrq

    prejudice makes Nokia weak

  • docsparks

    That article is nice and all, i hope the feelings are noticed by those at nokia, but ill say one thing, i would buy the f&*k out of that phone in the headline photo. someone’ has the right idea

  • Mike7b4

    i dont like nokias ashole strategy but I guess people here has only run shitty android, but let me ask you why on earth would Androis be better choice for nokia, it just plain ridicilous? There is so damn many android companys already.

    what nokia should have done was to KEEP harmattan+Qt to differentiate

  • iibbrraa

    Maemo/MeeGo is the real Nokia , and thats a win formula, but theyre stupid, lol

    So let it be, they want it, they got it
    they deserve to sinking, faster means better

    bye Nokia , see ya soon, RIP

  • ronturon

    A million points to Dustin.

  • Olo

    how about raiding twitter with the hashtag #ElopWeWantAndroid and speak up our minds

  • Steve Williams

    Remember the Nokia N900? Linux-based (Maemo), open, free?

  • Daniel Smedegaard Buus

    All part of the plan. HTC isn’t the final Windows Phone. HTC will make some money selling it. Nokia will generate tons of knowledge around the OS and the platform while losing territory. Then Microsoft will buy them at €2 per share, when they’re at €1.5 a share. And Microsoft will have its very own hardware ecosystem, just like Apple. Elop is a Trojan horse. Seeing the latest Lumia – man, too bad that thing doesn’t run Android.

  • cayne

    Great letter! I’d sign it right away. Like others mentioned earlier, I would instantly buy an Android powered phone by Nokia. Their build quality matches Apples stuff (probably minus the iPhone 5 – lulz) and it would run Android = perfect match. All my “pre-smartphones” have been Nokia phones and they STILL WORK today. Not like that SonyEricsson crap…well Siemens was fine too! But I’m getting off track. Just bring us a Nokia Android and millions are going to buy it.

  • Sarath

    True Android would have given Nokia initial success. But in reality there are so many other problems. Android has 65% of the market share but still developers prefer to use IOs..? because they make more money from Ios with just 30% of the smartphone market… This is because Android is an open and fragmented. The ecosystem is important..!! An iphone user who has spent on Apps will not switch to android even if Apple shits on them..he is stuck on the ecosystem…Mac itune ipod iphone…. This is what windows 8 can deliver…. Pc.. tablet.. xbox and phone
    Android is easy to customize… supports multiple hardware and has no limitations on hardware specs..good for end user but no good for a manufacturer.. and especially Nokia…. It would end up in a never ending battle of multiple cores, Ghz and RAM…which Nokia cannot fight against manufactures like Samsung… or even other chinese manufacturers…
    Nokia has its own services which if went with android would have been replaced by google services… thats where google makes money, reason why they do not ask for a license fee.. going for windows.. now Nokia is providing those services…

  • Sarath

    Then for the tablet.. Nokia has long said that they are not interested in making a tablet now… Microsoft requires everyone aboard to make its ecosystem a success.. but at the same time the concept of combining a tablet and pc… could go wrong if they dont set a bench mark.. and thats exactly what Surface is doing….
    Htc named their new phone windows phone 8x or 8s this is the reason they are called signature phones.. Nokia with Lumia is windows phone + Nokia services… and definitely not a true windows phone.. Nokia has exclusive apps, voice navigation, Pureview, lens apps… etc…. so its more than windows phone….
    Windows phone will not become an overnight success.. it might take a year or even more, until the ecosystem is complete and they get developer attention to it… Before the Iphone.. symbian was the untouched king in the mobile world… and very much like android… customizable… can run on different hardware… so definitely its not the best Os but the best ecosystem that would eventually win.. if developers find it better to make apps for wp8.. then everything will turn around….
    Meego took three years to finalize and was the true reason for slowing Nokia down… Meego still uses Qt which meant the Ovi store… not a honey trap for developers…. and Nokia wont be able to bring other manufacturers to support meego… Even though a great Os… it would have eaten up a lot on R&D and will not create anything new becoming a burden for Nokia…
    Truly Nokia had no other chance.. either create a differentiating third ecosystem or fight till death with Android ( a war which samsung would definitely win.)

  • arnoud

    Microsoft will buy Nokia before they would they could even consider making a Android device. Yes it is a big bet for Nokia now, only focussing on WP, but as far as I can see, both Nokia and Microsoft are really serious. In three years, when we look back, the introduction of WP8 might become more important that we can now imagine. Let’s hope they bring some good competition. We all will benefit. After several Android’s and IOS devices, my next phone will be the Lumia 920. Most important reason: Nokia hardware quality and the opportunities as a developer for WP8/W8.

  • cletus dsouza

    Nokia manufacturers i just have to give you some complaints from where i am mentally irritated…
    you must be knowing that whatsapp is the mesenger working very fast in this world as well as there is maze lock for security and also wifi connection available …..but i have nokia asha 305 which does not support whatsapp messenger no wifi and also non maze lock …so i would like to just think that please make a new mobile like nokia asha 305 but will contain everything mentioned or else they wont be called as smartphone please do it as early as possible because i trust nokia mobiles i was damn irritated and was planning to take galaxy young of samsung please do the neatful changes in the mobile so that everybody takes your product and also start making android mobile..
    yours truly
    cletus dsouza

  • Illa

    Damn M$blowcockz astro surfers

  • Ansh

    I waited nokia android atleast for 1 year but at last I gave up & go wid samsung. Nokia perhaps u don’t know ur customers are loyal . They’ll sell their existing devices for ur android phones. Wakeup Nokia u r supplier of most trusted hardware just supply these hardware with popular software & u’ll be welcomed .