If there is to be a Nokia Android phone, now would be the time


Last week, Nokia brought us the second most asked for phone in Nokia’s history. The Lumia 1020 brought forth Pureview stage one and Pureview stage two in an orgy of epic that caused elation across the board with our staff here at Pocketnow. The huge 41-megapixel camera is second to none in the smartphone industry and is in and of itself a very compelling reason to give Nokia and Windows Phone a good, hard, long look. Ever since the Nokia Pureview 808 on the only-mostly-dead platform of Symbian, this has been the Moby Dick all of us little Ahabs have been praying for.

But, if some are to be believed, Nokia is still missing that shining unicorn of a device – The Nokia Lumia 1020 Android Pureview GodPhone edition. This epic device would dump that stupid old Windows Phone for the sheer elegance that is Android. It would pack it’s rockin’ 41 Megapixel camera, and be bundled along with a Quadcore Snapdragon 7000 processor. It would upload 41 megapixel raw images to Google Plus along with filters that would superimpose angel wings on your children and devil horns on your mother-in-law automatically. It would also gain you 5,000 twitter followers upon activation and make your perform better in bed.

If some are to be believed.

Now or never

Android needs Nokia

It could happen

Well, I have good news for you folks. If Nokia was going to unveil an Android powered superphone, now would be the time. The Lumia 1020 is slated for release later this month. There were hints at the event that more would be forthcoming in the September/October area. It could be that Nokia is planning to use freely-available Android to power a new line of smartphones. If that’s the case, then this fall would be the time to announce.

One could argue that Nokia has hit their Windows Phone peak with the Lumia 1020. In fact, one has. The 41 megapixel Pureview experience is far and away beyond anything any Windows Phone OEM has offered thus far. If you are thinking about getting a Windows Phone device, this is the one. All others need not apply. Nokia has set an incredibly high bar with the Lumia 1020, one even Nokia themselves would be hard-pressed to top in upcoming releases.

Grass is greener

So, it makes sense that if Nokia is hitting their peak in the Windows Phone area, then maybe it’s time to broaden their horizons a bit. Android is cheap, and from a development standpoint easy to work with. Heck, Google just spent three hours telling us how great Android is becoming. There are apps aplenty. There is a ton of developer support, along with an active community to support other developments (Google Edition anyone?).

Nokia on Android

Of course, an announcement would just be the first step. Let’s not forget the insane amount of work that would have to go into actually making an Android handset. “Maybe they’ve been doing that all along”, you thinking. Sure, maybe. Maybe the same company that leaked every single aspect of the Lumia 1020 months before they painted it yellow, is super-secret-handshake-like making an Android phone too. They’ve had developers that all pinky-swore to never tell anyone, cross their hearts and hope to die.

These developers have been working on various drivers for the 41 megapixel camera sensor, and all the other sensors the Lumia 1020 brings. Plus they’ve been developing all the Nokia Here apps – Drive, Maps, City Lens, etc, to all work on the Android platform. PhoneGap right? Woo hoo for cross-platform development.

Nokia Android phone = very hush hush

But seriously, since nothing has ever been whispered or suggested in that light ever since Nokia signed on the dotted line with Microsoft, it’s reasonable to assume that development has not begun and such a project would be, in a 1993-Nicole-Kidman-perfect kind of way, 6 months away.

But if Nokia is going to go Android, they really need to go big or go home. A Lumia 800 type of offering in the Android market space would be at best laughable and at worst suicide. If Nokia really wants to make an Android release work, they need to release a Samsung Galaxy S4 with BoomSound, waterproofing, AND a 41 megapixel camera. Anything less would be #yaap – as I coined on twitter:  “Yet Another Android Phone”.

Well, there is that

I wrote recently that Nokia really didn’t have a lot going for it in terms of the Lumia 1020, beyond the epic-awesome camera. I was admittedly a bit mistaken in that judgement. Nokia also has Windows Phone going for it. Some, in fact most  who salivated at the thought of this headline, consider Windows Phone a weakness. It could also be a major strength. This isn’t Sense, or TouchWiz or some other Andorid skin that is the primary differentiator. A whole other operating system is compelling for some, not so much for others.

But if Nokia wants to drop that (circle one) advantage/disadvantage, and move into the territory that Samsung occupies, and that HTC occupies, and that Sony occupies, and that LG occupies, and that Motorola occupies, and that Huawei occupies, and that…..never mind, they’re going to need all the specs help they can get. Else, they will be lost amid the absolute maelstrom of other Android phones that are already out there and already have a presence in the Android garden.

ehhhh...not so muchSpoiler alert

Not going to happen. Honestly, as much as some folks may be clamoring for an Android-powered Nokia phone, it’s just not going to happen. Nokia has married Microsoft, for better or for worse, til death to they part. Nokia will not be spoiling the special relationship they have with Microsoft for the sake of trying to compete with Samsung, or even HTC for that matter. It would take a superphone the likes of which have not been seen to be anything approaching a not-disaster. Because this superphone would have to not only justify the rift this would cause with Microsoft, but it would also have to blow dozens of other Android OEM’s out of the water. Even that would give them maybe 5% of the Android’s global smartphone market share (roughly 70-75 percent?). Would you rather have 5% of 70% in that scenario or 5% of 100% which is what they have now?

It just does not make sense. But if it’s going to happen, it will be now. And it will be huge. Or, you know, a disaster.

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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!