Nick Wingfield of the The New York Times‘ Bits blog reports this afternoon that Nokia was considering switching from making Windows Phone devices to Android handsets “sometime after late 2014.” Nokia was developing Android-based Lumia handsets before the two companies started negotiating Microsoft’s eventual $7.2 billion acquisition, according to Wingfield, and Microsoft was aware of the project during talks.
This isn’t all that surprising, of course — at least two noted analysts have suggested that Nokia may have forced Microsoft’s hand by threatening to abandon Windows Phone, which has failed to gain the traction many predicted. I wrote earlier this week that Windows Phone will succeed in spite of Microsoft’s blunders because the company simply has the will and the power to make sure it does. But my colleague Kevin Tofel was right last week when he wrote that it’s highly unlikely that any manufacturer will build Windows Phone handsets now that Microsoft has jumped into the hardware game. Microsoft’s acquisition may have prevented its top mobile manufacturing partner from jumping ship, but it also proved that Redmond’s mobile business hinges on Windows Phone more than ever.