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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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By robinthakur on 9/22/2010 9:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
I can see why this might become a problem for the handset manufacturers (especially as Gingerbread won't allow hardwired skins) trying to differentiate their phones. In your model, people would read reviews of all the different skins, establish quickly which one was best and then only buy that one. Would people really be prepared to pay for them? I don't think so. There's also the loss of face for a company like Motorola to see its name on a product running a competitor's OS skin (i.e. not exactly advertising the brand) which flies in the face of all its previous instincts because it makes their customers more promiscuous to other brands if its just about the hardware.

However, even right now there are only one or two 'best' Android phones, with the rest being largely forgotten to people that know what they're talking about e.g. HTC Desire, Droid2, Galaxy Pro. The danger for manufacturers like LG, is that their new device won't factor within the top echelons and will therefore get quickly forgotten unless its heavily subsidised by carrier deals etc. You then get phones being released more frequently to constantly improve on the specs of the competitors' efforts, but somebody still needs to purchase all these handsets for the companies to turn a profit on all the R&D, otherwise the piece of the pie which the manufacturers can take home gets unaccceptably small. This works well for a smaller company like HTC who can turn around a product very quickly to market, but for the rest, its going to be a problem, in my view.

From the power users which Android attracts, you also have the pressure that they generally don't want *any* differentiators, operator logos or much customisation of the core Android OS which they can't easily remove, in which case, Google's model of only selling phones like the Nexus 1 through them would be a better fit than the current free-for-all.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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