Nokia’s Symbian gambit

Nokia today announced via Twitter that it will not make a smartphone based on Google’s Android operating system. This is significant because it shows that hardware makers are concerned about losing control of their relationship with customers.

Symbian, Nokia’s favored OS—it has slowly acquired the company that develops the OS since joining it as a partner in the mid-90s—will remain Nokia’s focus. It prevents Google from claiming a direct relationship with Nokia’s customers through the OS, meaning Google will have to invest in a Google Books for Symbian application (it has various apps for Symbian already), or partner with Nokia, to gain access to Nokia smartphone users who want to buy or read ad-supported e-books.

UPDATE: Analysts say Nokia is doomed, will lose out to Apple in two years. Rumors of Nokia’s death have run rampant before. The question remains whether it will stay at the forefront in its relationship with customers. Apple mastered that challenge with the App Store, Nokia’s not in the position to do the same.