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Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki
Exiting Nokia exec guns for Android

There has been a lot of turmoil at Nokia in the past few weeks. Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was ousted and replaced by a former Microsoft exec, Stephen Elop. Just days later, Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki announced that he would leave the company within six months.

With all the hubbub surrounding these departures and Nokia's efforts to launch new products, an article on Vanjoki in the Financial Times went unnoticed last week. Engadget managed to pick up on the piece in which Vanjoki is highly critical of Google's Android operating system.

Vanjoki states that smartphone manufacturers are flocking to Android, seeing it as a panacea to help boost profits. However, he states that using Android is only a short-term solution, and it won't be viable in the long-term as more manufacturers hop on the bandwagon and it becomes harder to differentiate between handsets.

Vanjoki bluntly states that manufacturers who use Android are like Finnish boys who "pee in their pants" to stay warm in the cold of winter.

Harsh words indeed, but this isn't the first time that we've heard such criticism of Android. Microsoft has long voiced its opposition to Android and most recently made it clear that the mobile operating system should not be considered "free" because of associated legal risks.

“It does infringe on a bunch of patents, and there’s a cost associated with that,” said Microsoft CFO Tivanka Ellawala. “So there’s a... cost associated with Android that doesn’t make it free.”

For the time being, both Nokia and Microsoft should be worried about Android growing even stronger in the U.S. market. Android has already surpassed Apple is making a run at RIM.

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RE: Already an issue for Android.
By snakeInTheGrass on 9/21/2010 11:05:46 AM , Rating: 2
If WinMo7 does well, Microsoft will make money and be a large player - but that isn't the issue he's talking about at all.

The issue - as for Android - is that the better it does, the more the manufacturers using it are all competing with each other in a race to the bottom in terms of profit margins, so it will look just like the PC industry has for years. If everyone is making Android handsets, the advantage of using Android in terms of not having to pay the Windows licensing fees pretty well disappears since nobody is paying that fee - and prices just get pushed down by that amount.

So (much like HP picking up Pre) Nokia isn't going to jump into Android - the vertical stack is the only way to try to ensure better margins and profits by delivering products with more innovative/better integrated features. Now executing on that vision is of course another matter, but in principle what he's saying is totally sound.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By bug77 on 9/21/2010 11:17:18 AM , Rating: 5
Indeed, it's going to be an incredible situation: hardware manufacturers competing with each other with only hardware to differentiate between them. That can't be good, can it?

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By Laitainion on 9/21/2010 11:34:50 AM , Rating: 4
It's not a problem if the software is good, but what happens when there really is only one phone operating system? We'll get Internet Explorer 6 all over again, competition on both the hardware and software front, with multiple hand-set makers using multiple operating systems seems the best solution to me.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By Tamale on 9/21/2010 11:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
don't worry, apple and rim won't start using android any time soon.

i'm glad to see android taking off.. it's finally starting to feel like innovation is driving the smartphone market instead of 'features'.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By Tamale on 9/21/2010 11:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
don't worry, apple and rim won't start using android any time soon.

i'm glad to see android taking off.. it's finally starting to feel like innovation is driving the smartphone market instead of 'features'.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By bug77 on 9/21/2010 11:45:01 AM , Rating: 3
I think Android is only meant to provide a baseline for mobile OSes. If it takes over the market entirely, it would just mean that baseline is good enough for everyone. And it may very well lead to stagnation, but not anytime soon.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By kattanna on 9/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Already an issue for Android.
By mcnabney on 9/21/2010 12:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
A smartphone is just a portable computer.

It brings automation, connectivity, and entertainment everywhere you go.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By Wererat on 9/21/2010 12:41:16 PM , Rating: 3
What else does a phone need to do? Lately I've:
- Reviewed and composed documents, spreadsheets, and presentations (Documents to Go);
- Streamed music (Last.FM);
- Checked the weather (Weather Channel);
- Read and replied to work and personal email (browser, Yahoo Mail and Gmail apps);
- Received tweets (Tweetcaster);
- Took pictures documenting another driver's fault in an accident (built-in camera);
- Navigated to an unfamiliar place halfway across the state (Sprint Navigation)
- Verified router placement by checking wi-fi signal strength dynamically (Tricorder);
- Leveled a dryer (Bubble)
- Tuned a guitar (gStrings); and
- Used the phone's MicroSD card as storage for many documents rather than carrying standalone USB flash memory sticks.

"Phone" isn't really accurate any more; it's more like "palm-sized PC."

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By jive on 9/23/2010 7:07:48 AM , Rating: 1
nice post which just proves the original question. The phone is to make calls from one to one or many to many persons. From the list above you seemed to to everything else but make calls.

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By hr824 on 9/21/2010 11:56:23 AM , Rating: 3
Ahh what just happened? The consumer wins when companies compete is that a bad thing all of a sudden?

Of course in the US that's not really true since it doesnt matter how much your cell provider pays for the hand set it will still be $500 to $600 dollars with a 2 year contract.

By theapparition on 9/21/2010 12:03:47 PM , Rating: 3
From a company perspective, I somewhat agree. Problem is that vertical integration is not good for consumers in the long run. Another point to note, is that consumer adoption of vertical integrated products only works when there are no alternatives. With Android on the market, that effectively eliminates other companies being successful with completly closed solutions.

It has been a rather successful implementation for Apple, but other manufacturers will not see the same results to copy Apple's business model. Look at what we see happening with handset new sales. Android sales are through the roof while Apple sales are somewhat faltering (new customer adoption is very low) and the major entrenched player, RIM, is seeing the most impact.

I understand Nokia's position that if they adopt Android they will just be another hardware "also ran" competing on price/features/quality. If they play in thier own sandbox, rather than going to the Google playground, they can make thier own rules.

That's a dangerous game to play, however. They may find themselves on the outside looking in as more and more consumers chose the Android route.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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