November 10, 2010 | In: Technology

Symbian vs. Android: Why Nokia Is Doing the Wrong Thing

Few years ago, Nokia was the number one seller worldwide of mobile phones, it was also a leader in the dawn of smartphones. This is no longer the case, as Nokia’s sales are shrinking every quarter. Why is that?

Apparently Nokia is sticking with Symbian, an outdated and now annoying operating system for mobile phones, instead of moving to Android. Nokia even said the following about Android: “Android is like peeing in your pants to get warm in the winter”. How can Nokia be so shortsighted? Can’t they see that Android is taking their market share and people in droves are moving to this OS, which is even threatening to Apple?

Android, in my opinion, is probably one of the best (and very few) things that came out of Google.

I own both a Nokia phone and an Android (Sony Ericsson) phone, and here’s my comparison between the two:

- There are unlimited applications for the Android phone due to the open nature of the OS. The number of applications for the Nokia (Symbian) are a few and they are shrinking by the day, as developers move to the new Android system where they can actually make money.
- The Android OS has a great look and feel, while the Nokia one is now very outdated.
- It is easy to port your data between Android phones, try porting that data to a Nokia phone, or even from one Nokia phone to the other.
- Nokia doesn’t have anything remotely similar to the Android market.
- Android works closely with the users, and listens through official message boards, etc… Nokia rarely, if ever, listens to its user base.
- Try finding an SMS in a Nokia phone when you have over 3,000 of them…

I would like to stress again the importance of making money in the Android market, some developers even made developing applications on the Android system their full time job, because of the lucrative potential. Exciting and fun applications are being released every day on the Android. Nokia is completely distant from the developers when it comes to developing applications, it doesn’t even try to organize applications into its website (try searching for “Nokia Games” or “Nokia Applications” on Google, and the first results are shady websites that no sane person should trust), and has a very hard system to develop on (as if they don’t want programmers to develop application on their phones in the first place).

The list can go on and on, my point is that if Nokia remains stubborn, then it’s going to lag well behind in this market. The only thing that is keeping Nokia afloat at the moment is the huge sales of cheap phones to 3rd world countries, but even in that area they have competition, and this is not where the real money is anymore. Nokia doesn’t seem to get the point, people like openness, they like easy integration with the web, and they like using familiar and intuitive OS, something I cannot say about the Symbian OS. A lot of people were loyal to Nokia (buying only Nokia phones), but these same people are now feeling that Nokia’s phones are dull and unintuitive, and thus they are migrating either to Android phones or to IPhones that are fulfilling their expectations (and sometimes exceeding them).

Expect NOK to retreat considerably in the next year, if they still refuse to adopt Android, at least in future models.

4 Responses to Symbian vs. Android: Why Nokia Is Doing the Wrong Thing

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jon

December 16th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Nokia doesn’t want to use the Android platform for a good reason, Android does nothing to help their developers. Companies have spent a large amount of resources developing apps for android only to make $15.00 a month… that doesn’t even cover the price of the party sub sandwich they bought to celebrate finishing the app.
Android makes it even worst by having a poor store, apps only available for purchase in a few countries, and free apps that don’t even have ads!! Why do people develop free apps without ads? No one knows, but they make no money doing so and no one will bother to give them competition because they also know they can’t make any money.

Really developers have no point writing apps for android unless they like charity work. Nokia is smart to avoid this even if they do have their problems.

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Fadi El-Eter

December 16th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your input on the topic, my question to you is what is Nokia doing to compete with Android? And is sticking with Symbian worth it?

I have also to say that some developers are making money with Android, and here’s a discussion about the topic: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/03/android-developer/ . Although not many people have had the same luck, but with more people switching to Android, this industry can pick up real fast.

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An Analysis of Mobile Phone Stocks from Another Perspective « Fadi El-Eter

January 1st, 2011 at 3:10 am

[...] – NOK: Currently trading at $10.32, which is a fair P/E for its current and potential market share. Mind you, Nokia phones are very dominant in China and third world countries (possibly due to their very low prices). I don’t think NOK makes a good investment at the moment, unless they stop doing the wrong thing. [...]

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Is Nokia Overpriced? « Fadi El-Eter

December 28th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

[...] short from adopting the Android OS and is sticking to Symbian (here’s a comparison between Symbian and Android). It wasn’t until very late that Nokia has decided to ally with Microsoft and produce Windows [...]

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