There was a time, not too long ago, that Samsung was a nonentity in the mobile world. Companies like Nokia and Motorola were ruling the roost, with absolute authority.
Needless to say both giants have been through quite a few ups and downs.
The ultimate beneficiaries of the smartphone revolution, however, have been companies like Apple and Samsung. The Korean company, in particular, is now the number one marker of Android devices, and has absolutely flooded the market with smartphones of all shapes and sizes.
Nokia surprised many when the Finnish telecom titan chose Windows Phone back in 2011 for its next generation of devices. It was quite a shift for the company that had pushed the Symbian platform hard.
And Stephen Elop, in a recent Ask Me Anything session shared details about the transition to the world of Windows. He had this to say when asked about Nokia with Android:
“When we made the decision to focus on Windows Phone back in 2011, we were very concerned that a decision to pursue Android would put us on a collision course with Samsung, who already had established a head of steam around Android.
That was the right decision, as we have seen virtually all other OEMs from those days pushed to the side. Today, we are using AOSP to attack a specific market opportunity, but we are being thoughtful to do it in a way that accrues benefit to Microsoft and to Lumia.”
Collision courses are a spectacle more often than not, but admittedly Nokia was in no position for spectacles at the turn of the decade. Anyway, the answer is what many have already repeated.
Case of a big fish in a small pond? Maybe. Did Nokia forgo putting their brand recognition to work for Android? Probably. But ultimately, this resulted in a major win for Microsoft as Nokia quickly established itself as the dominant force in the Windows Phone world.
And it will undoubtedly result in a major win for all smartphone users in the world, with the Windows Phone platform solidifying its position as the third option.
A bipolar world is a boring world, more often than not.