Nokia board chairman Risto Siilasmaa went on a Finnish television show, and stated that while he is confident in Windows Phone 8, the company does have a back-up plan if it doesn’t work out. Speculation aplenty – what is this backup plan? The answer’s pretty easy, if you ask me.
Windows Phone 8 is looking nice, but if current Windows Phone 7 market performance is anything to go by, there’s little reason to assume Windows Phone 8 is going to do any better. Despite Nokia’s involvement in Microsoft’s mobile platform, it doesn’t seem to be making any serious dent in the market; in fact, Windows Phone’s market share has dropped 0.4% to a mere 3.9% since January of this year. Defecting Windows Mobile users probably play a role here, but it’s still incredibly meagre.
For all intents and purposes, we can classify Windows Phone 7 as a market failure, and Nokia has done nothing to turn anything around. I like the platform – but the rest of the world does not, or at least not enough to actually buy it. As evidently nice as Lumias are, again – people aren’t buying them.
This gives very little confidence for the future of Windows Phone 8. A few mitigating factors exist here, such as Windows 8’s possible halo effect, as well as the more modern and competitive hardware WP8 will run on. At the same time, the lack of upgrades for WP7 users will likely be a major turn-off for some.
This raises a very serious question for Finland’s pride, Nokia. The company bet on Windows Phone, and it’s clearly not working out. What if Windows Phone 8 doesn’t change things? Well, the company has a backup plan, according to Siilasmaa, but he declined to offer more detail.
This contingency plan is pretty obvious, though: Android. It’s the only viable option, since the company no longer has the resources or the people to offer up a home-cooked alternative platform. There’s no doubt in my mind that Nokia has Lumias and other devices running Android in their labs, as a backup plan for when WP8 fails like WP7 did.
A white N9 running Jelly Bean? Where can I place my order?