Every time someone suggests that Nokia’s relationship with Windows Phone 8 is on the rocks, the troubled lovers remind everyone of just how much they mean to each other. The companies’ relationship is unique in that Nokia has committed to only building devices with Windows Phone 8, an operating system completely outside of its control. Apple and RIM stick with iOS and BlackBerry, respectively, because they control the entire experience – other manufacturers, like HTC and Samsung, are happy to make devices running just about any operating system under the sun.
If anyone is benefiting from this arrangement it’s Microsoft, which is free to ship with whoever it likes without any repercussions. The company is happy to send Windows and Windows Phone to any manufacturer willing to cough up a licensing fee. Nokia, on the other hand, has only just started dallying by shipping its Here product on iOS and the Web.
Gizmodo and BGR thought that this may have changed when Nokia posted a job calling for someone who has experience using Linux (the listing is now offline). Android being a Linux-based operating system, the rumors and speculation started flowing from there. A statement made in July by Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa hasn’t helped to debunk these rumors, as he told Finnish broadcaster YLE that Nokia has a “contingency plan” if Windows Phone 8 doesn’t pan out.
Because Siilasmaa didn’t name this so-called “contingency plan,” pundits and hopeful consumers have been able to spin his words any way they want. Fuel, meet Nokia-built Android phone fire. For all we know, Nokia’s “plan” involves unicorn hair and fairy blood – a jump to Android might be more likely, but it’s hardly a sure thing.
Unfortunately for anyone who wanted to combine a Jelly Belly-colored phone with Google’s Jelly Bean operating system, Nokia’s head of media relations, Doug Dawson, ended the rumor with a Tweet. Dawson didn’t mince words, plainly stating that “our recently posted job is linked to our Here Maps support for other platforms, including iOS and Android.” Despite Here’s playful advances, it seems, Nokia isn’t looking to divorce Microsoft any time soon.
That won’t stop people from talking, though. One person responded to Dawson’s Tweet with a request to bring Here to Jolla and its Sailfish operating system. Two more expressed their desire for Nokia to build an Android-based phone, as though Dawson hadn’t Tweeted at all.
Deny it all you want, Nokia, but it seems that your customers want you to start seeing other people.