Today will go down in history as a momentous day for the mobile industry. Nokia, once the leader of the mobile telecommunications industry, officially announced that they’re going to sell Microsoft their devices and services unit for 5.44 billion Euros. Nokia will get to keep the Nokia brand, but Microsoft gets to use it. Oh and Microsoft now owns the Lumia brand outright.
Why is this news on an Android website? Because many people, myself included, were hoping that given enough time, Nokia would realize that Windows Phone was the wrong bet, and that it would only make sense to switch to Android. My SIM card is in a Nokia Lumia 925 right now, and let me tell you, it’s one of the best phones I’ve ever held in my hand. But then I turn it on, and Windows Phone ruins it. Had Nokia bet on Android in 2011 instead of Windows Phone, Samsung wouldn’t be where they are right now.
But seriously, what does Microsoft buying Nokia’s crown jewels mean for Android? Microsoft is going to pull an Apple, meaning they want to go vertical. Microsoft software running on Microsoft hardware sold via Microsoft partner channels. Sure, the Microsoft brand may not be as strong today as it was in the 90s, but it’s still a force to be reckoned with.
Should Samsung or Apple be scared? Not really. Windows Phone needs a hell of a lot of work in order to be competitive. There’s a common misconception that the problem with Windows Phone is the lack of apps. Let me dispel that perceived notion right now and tell you that the OS itself has serious flaws in terms of usability and ease of use that do more to make the platform a pain in the butt than a lack of Instagram or Vine.
I want to leave you with this: Nothing lasts forever. Not Nokia. Not Microsoft. Not even Google. Android will, at some point in the future, become irrelevant. And that’s honestly the best part of covering this tumultuous industry. Its changes are neither a good thing or a bad thing, they just are.