Android has overtaken Symbian to become the number one mobile operating system – a feat never achieved by Apple iOS – and now the new Honeycomb release should enable Google's platform to eat into the iPad's tablet market share too. With Nokia reportedly mulling a change in OS strategy ahead of its analyst day next week, and RIM …
Nokia seem to be aimlessly walking from one smartphone disasters to the next. Nokia & winphone7 would be the new disaster. The CEO seems more interested in keeping his ex employers happy and saving face than what is best for Nokia (OHA, Android). You have to wonder if he is still on the MS payroll.
I would say its already too late for Nokia in the smartphone arena, but even if its not, this is clearly their last chance to get things right, and buddying up to a failing wp7 platform is not the right thong to do. A fresh UI ontop of android, with a ready-made 250,000 well stocked app store is where they need to be going.
I'm not sure that's where they need to be going
To my mind, Nokia engineers great operating systems with barely usable interfaces. If you look at the abstract numbers, Nokia seem to be able to get a lot more battery life out of ostensibly comparable devices at a cheaper price point. Their problems on the software side are that the user interface is awful.
Testing an N8 versus an iPhone versus a Nexus One: I'm in the browser, I want to go to a different web page.
On the iPhone I scroll to the top of the page (by tapping the status bar), tap the address bar, the keyboard comes up, I type the new address and press 'Go', which is right there on the keyboard. The Nexus One is very similar. Scroll to the top (albeit without a single tap shortcut, but that's because Android has other functionality permanently attached to the status bar, so no overall conclusion to be drawn here), tap in the address bar, enter something via QWERTY, press 'Go'. Total: two taps, some typing, one tap.
On the N8: tap the little arrow in the bottom right. I'm presented with a five button menu, of which three are not particularly obvious graphics without text. Having used it before I know to tap the world icon in the middle, which brings up a combined URL or search term menu. I then tap the URL line. That brings up an entirely different screen because all text box entry is done on a separate screen. I have to enter in T9. Tick that to go back. Tap 'Go to' to load the URL. Total: three taps, some T9 entry on a completely separate screen, two more taps. With lots of menus on which to get lost in between, and the extra delay of having to type in T9.
And the entire software stack is like this. It's a labyrinthine nightmare of menus upon menus upon menus with everything you want to do always requiring quite a lot more effort than on other phones and even then being achievable only if you've bothered to experiment with and memorise the system in advance.
Any strategy in which Nokia holds itself forward as being even slightly competent with UI design is a very bad idea. They're better off sticking with the Series 40 for emerging markets, adopting Android with the normal user interface and ensuring there's an official port of QT to the platform. They can revive themselves with hardware (there's a market for 12mp phones with Carl Zeiss lenses) and unique applications (Ovi Maps in particular). I think there's a route by pushing QT on Android to become the default glue for people that want to port C/C++ stuff, but it's probably more risky.
Thinking harder since last I posted, I think the risk to the Android path would be that they'd be back up to two Linux platforms even once the Maemo to MeeGo transition is complete. Probably a better path would be to put Dalvik on MeeGo, which probably wouldn't be too hard a port with the similar stuff underneath. That buys them entry to the Android ecosystem with a significant differentiating factor.
It's sad to see what Nokia are doing to themselves
They got a Microsoft guy onboard, and now he is more than happy to take Nokia down the commercially suicidal road of WP it seems.
Android is their last-chance saloon.
Nokia make great hardware, they also have some skills to bring to the OHA, so lets hope that is what is happening. I really want to buy a Nokia smartphone, but I won't be unless it runs Android, simple as that.
@ThomH: Entering a URL in the browser on android
Press the menu button, and the URL bar will pop-up, no need to scroll to the top.
> The low level device drivers which used to be in the OS are now integrated into the hypervisor, and it becomes a group effort by the vendors to integrate that support there instead of the OS. Instead, the hypervisor vendor creates "virtual" device drivers that expose common services to the virtualised OS, such as networking, display and I/O.
Look, Android's kernel is Linux and all of it, including special Google patches, is open source. Vendors can already collaborate in this way: they only have to write Linux drivers for their devices and share. The API is there, just do it, dammit. Except they don't, for one reason or another - many reasons in fact.
I'm not talking about running WP7, and frankly, who cares about it? If the question is about android OEM collaboration, they already have the common platform for it, except they choose not to. Which is sad, but that's how it is.
But yeah, virtualisation is all the rage now, it'll solve *everything*, including cancer and AIDS. Just call it a "hypervisor", stick it in there and happy vendors will magically start collaborating and it'll all be ponies and rainbows.
No need for all that
Almost ll phones are built on SOCs (system on chips) by people like Qualcomm. The SOC vendors write all the drivers for their SOCs to make their chips easy to use. If they don't provide quality reference designs then the vendors won't use their SOCs.
Why use virtualisation? That only adds more software overhead (ie. more power consumption and makes the chip slower). The SOC vendors want their chips to be as fast and low power as possible to make them as appealing as possible to the vendors.
Just because it's Linux doesn't mean people design cellphones like servers.
Going with WP7 just to snub Android that is as stupid as driving off a cliff to avoid paying road tolls.
I think Nokia might have made more of a success of meego or QT if it wasn't continually distracting itself re-engineering the same phones over and over again as new indistinguishable handsets, if it had not so consistently whored itself to dodgy network operators who wanted things that ticked all the buzzwords, but were so cheap they didn't actually do any of the things on the box well enough to be useful.
you are forgetting the 'ordinary guy'..
It seems like only the salesmen and tech guys are talking here... If you look at the market, you see only the phones with flash for web are increasing in popularity.. guess what those are???
Nokia is like a millionaire, moaning that he cannot afford his California mansion any more, saying nothing about the other 10 houses he owns round the world....
Nokia is still selling lots, mainly the basic handsets.. they would have to be really stupid to lose that!!!
If they want to get back the smartphone market, they need to look at their n900 design and OS, make it as thin as their current phones, with a full multi-tab flash enabled browser and make it FAST and easy to use as makes like SE, HTC, samsung... other wise they may go the way of IBM... they thought they would never lose, but where are they now???
You mean 'customers'?
>If you look at the market, you see only the phones with flash for web are increasing in popularity.. guess what those are???
You mean like the iPhone 4 which just broke all pre-order records on Verizon in the US?
I think you severely overestimate the importance of Flash
"Look, we've got Flash" is what manufacturers say to score points with tech bloggers.
"Look, we've got a good browser on a big screen, available for free on a contract and for not all that much on pay as you go" is what manufacturers say to win consumers.
Smartphones are high margin devices.
The low-cost candy bar phones make very little profit.
As costs get squeezed the smartphones are increasingly encroaching into candy bar phone space and in 5 years or so maybe candy bar phones will only be made in China, with Chinese branding, for third world use.
So if Nokia don't get their act together in the smartphone space soon, they will get squeezed out completely.
> millions and millions worth of handset sales
Well there's an ambiguous phrase... leaving aside, for the moment, the dubious nature of whether Google's numbers actually include a couple of Chinese forks of Android, and the whole laughing stock of Samsung acting as though channel sales = consumer sales, and completely failing to clarify the issue, which they could in a second, assuming the figures were, you know, actually worth crowing about...
Leaving all that aside, the sure sign of a Fandroid is someone clinging to volume sales numbers while conveniently ignoring the fact that in terms of actual *profit* - that pesky little matter that happens to be the lifeblood of all manufacturers - Apple is eating everyone's lunch.
And then shitting on their tray.
And then rubbing their faces in it.
Yes, that's the one.
"Leaving all that aside, the sure sign of a Fandroid is someone clinging to volume sales numbers while conveniently ignoring the fact that in terms of actual *profit* - that pesky little matter that happens to be the lifeblood of all manufacturers - Apple is eating everyone's lunch."
And you care because you're on the board of Apple? Or is this an excuse to dress up and wave some pom-poms about? Fandroid? Sheesh: Google doesn't care whether Android makes a ton of money directly for them from handset sales, and the manufacturers can figure out how they get to make money by using Android (hint: device differentiation and being able to deliver a smartphone in the first place). If it weren't for Google's services, the iPhone and related devices would be considerably less attractive, so Google makes money even when Apple is putting bottoms on seats for them.
"And then shitting on their tray. And then rubbing their faces in it. Yes, that's the one."
Maybe you are on the board of some corporation. Those high-end business types are known to have some weird fetishes.
in what markets?
Android is pushed by a dozen manufacturers currently in every carrier in the world. Their explosive growth is attributed almost exclusively to 2 facts: they had a 5 fold increase in carriers and nations selling it year over year vs 2009, and manufacturing supplies are coming on line to meet the larger demand. In 50% of the markets, they're not competing with Apple, but nokia and WP6 and RIM only (none of whom have a current generation smartphone device). Of COURSE google took 80%v of those markets in smartphones, (and some 30% in total phones).
Apple is making slow and steady growth at 30% quarter over quarter. They're sold to but HALF the population of Android, but have 80% of the sales total, and that sales base is increasing steadily as Apple gets access to more parts. Their growth is not limited by the customer's who want it, it's limited by the customers who can currently GET it, and by Apple's choice of who and when. Who can GET it still is growing, predictably, but Google can;t claim that for themselves anymore, since they;re already sold everywhere...
Google did not stifle the android rollout, and they had explosive growth mostly because RIM and MS are late to the party and Palm died. There are 2 modern platforms in the world, and half the world only has access to one. In the other half of the world that has access to both, Apple is the 2:1 victor (and on some carriers, as much as 9:1).
Apple is adding nations and carriers, continually. Google no longer can. Google can't have any more growth without taking it from someone else, but Apple is entering new markets still (and will continue to for 2 more years), allowing them to grow solely at the sacrifice of their competition. Some 40% of people buy iOS where it;s available, but the rest of the market combined (other than google) is not 40%, so the only possibility is that as Apple expands, GOOGLE has to come down, at least in some percent. Since they have no more markets to open, only market expansion in general (people buying cell phones who never had one, a smaller and smaller pool), or taking from their competitors leads to growth, but apple takes more of that then the pace of market expansion. This means Appel can grow yet another 30% each quarter in 2011, but google has already hit a wall... They can not grow again as fast as they did, and now they compete with themselves (HTC stealing from moto, stealing from LG), and Apple's not there to steal from. If google adds 50% more handsets in 2011 than 2010 it will be amazing. Apple could easily sell double. Just adding VZW alone, and NO other nations, Appel will sell more handsets thi year than Google sold last year, and that means some 6-8m less google handsets in the process too.
Every now iOS market is less sales for Google. There are no new Google markets to be had. They can only do up as the market does, and apple can go up MUCH faster... Google can not hold the lead unless they outsell Apple where apple is also sold, and today, they're only doing HALF the sales in those markets. If the pace continues, Apple could have 40% of the world market, and Google might have 20%.
"Cry more Apple fanboy, your pissy little platform is even getting it's arse kicked in the smartphone sub-section of the market with Android outselling it 2:1. Talk about profits all you want, it wont help you when you're using a phone OS that's an also-ran in a few years time as Apple's marketshare continues to become eroded by WP7 and Android. Profits don't provide much solace when your platform is on a downward trend in terms of marketshare and hence risks being made completely obsolete in the long run."
People can crow all they like about market share, as long as Apple sells as many iPhones as they did the year before they couldn't care less about market share. Look at computers, Apple is happy with their 5-10% market share while making considerably more money than rival PC manufacturers and was only just slightly behind Microsoft in profit the last quarter while greatly surpassing their revenues. Apple are expected to surpass even Microsoft in profits the next quarter.
Just like PCs, being the worlds number 1 Android phone manufacturer doesn't necessarily mean you make more money than Apple does with the iPhone, considering that Android buyers amongst the general public are more often people who can't afford an iPhone it's highly likely that as they make more per phone than others they will still be the number one smartphone manufacturer even with a much smaller market share.
Being the number one smartphone manufacturer in terms of market share doesn't provide much solace when Apple is making considerably more money, after all it's profit, not sales numbers, that keep the companies in business.
Re: in what markets?
"They can not grow again as fast as they did, and now they compete with themselves (HTC stealing from moto, stealing from LG), and Apple's not there to steal from."
You assume that Apple's products will always be perceived as superior to the competition and that punters will always choose them regardless of the difference in price. In fact, there's no longer any indication that the first assumption is valid (the iPhone may have delivered the device that the incumbents should already have been producing back when it was launched in 2007, but there's not much advantage to Apple now), and unless you have a lot of cash and a fixation for Apple products, people are quite likely to go for the inevitably cheaper Android products, especially in less well-off markets.
And in contrast to the usual snobbery about how all those Far Eastern manufacturers are just copying from the hip guy in the black polo-neck (whilst ignoring where Apple gets its hardware from), those manufacturers deploying Android are likely to differentiate their stuff in the way that they do best - by improving the hardware specifications - and do so on a schedule where there might be three or more product iterations before Apple announce their next shiny thing in a smug fashion in front of a tame audience. Again, people are going to compare products on a more sound basis than "does it have an Apple on it because if so I want it!"
And finally, handset sales are not "sales for Google". Even with iPhone sales, a bum gets placed on a Google seat, and that's all Google cares about. No amount of "armchair general" analysis of market share percentages can make up for a failure to consider the undercurrents in the market, and it may well come to pass that as the multi-vendor nature of Android deployment starts to test Apple's iteration schedule, noises about platform licensing are heard echoing around Apple HQ once again.
- Lawyer CEO: Replaced by Codetalker CEO. NOT FIXED.
- Customer Perception: Nokia perceives the Telecom Operators as their customers and gives $hit about real people using their contraptions. I once offered them a SMS-killer technology and all they said is that it would offend the network operators. The technical merits were of zero concern. Basically, they tell skilled developers w/o a billion dollars to go away and leave them alone with their friends Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom.
- Software Updates: PTTNDFA model. As in Pay-Through-the-Nose-Does-Not-Fix-Anything.
-Crap API: J2ME is crap and will be crap. For example, the 6300 has very nice "internal" applications for the phone book, caller list, SMS editing etc. Unfortunately, Nokia does not expose the API to create these nice and responsive applications to a smelly, unshaved certified computer-science hacker like me. I have to accept the stnkin J2ME and shove off, anyway.
Actually, it would only be fair for Nokia to go belly-up; considering the fact that their only passion is a Passion For Money.
Nail, meet Mr Hammer
Nokia's problem is, and always has been, that they make phones for Telco's and NOT for people.
The sooner they wither and die the better.
WP7 might be the only option they have
The decision is purely political. Both WP7 and Android would work.
1. Android - add hardware driver, nothing else is required. This way, any further update is dead simple, and customers will get a proper phone that works, and without all those crapware no one wants. Very minor hardware redesign would be required.
2. WP7 - add hardware driver, nothing else they can do anyway. MS will take care of any OS update. Customers will get a phone that works (if WP7 is what they want), and Nokia doesn't need to care anything else but the hardware warranty. Some small hardware redesign is required (eg. remove SD card slot, add the required "buttons").
For the money matter only, they'd go with Android option. However, we all know this is politically incorrect, therefore, WP7 is the only option left.
And, the sales number is highly misleading. Android is not the number one, Apple's iOS is. To general public, a touch screen smart phone = iPhone, a tablet device = iPad, a portable music/media player = iPod.
"And, the sales number is highly misleading. Android is not the number one, Apple's iOS is. To general public, a touch screen smart phone = iPhone, a tablet device = iPad, a portable music/media player = iPod."
So Android is not number one in units shipped because people think all touch phones are iPhones?
I suppose in your world people must get confused about hoovering the carpet with a Dyson.
They would probably doom theirselves if they go with WP7. That's what Palm did, it took away the only distinction they had and soon Treos were interchangeable with any generic WinMo trashphone. Nokia would go the same way with *any* of these options, but MS is a surefire road to failure.
BTW, numbers aren't lying. iOS is nowhere near the "#1" anywhere, not even in the US. It still hasn't managed to overtake RIM. I expect the Android share of the market to keep taking larger chunks at the expense of Symbian, Palm, WinMo and probably Blackberry and iPhone deserters. The only ones seeing iPhone as #1 are the Appleista fanbois.
Give people more credit...
I think the great British public are more intelligent than you give them credit for. They know what an iPhone / iPad / iPod is and what is not. A great many of them believe the hype and go for the apple product because they want to or because it's what their friends have, or maybe it's the natural progression once you are locked into the apple store.
A great number of us, look at the figures, don't want an apple device and go for something else. And the best thing right now is an Android device. Simples.
Recipe for disaster
I bet that even if Nokia were to switch to something as succesful as Android they'd manage to screw it up, much like the peeps at Sony Ericsson, who have completely failed to get the whole 'support the user, ideally with upgrades and nice customer support' ever since launching the P series of Symbian phones, and are continuing that fine tradition with the X10. Why would Nokia be any different?
Better they stick with a new OS like WP7 that is being sold to neophytes who see the name 'Microsoft' and think that all good flows out of Redmond. And, of course, the MS vassals who have a vested interest in the Microsoft dominance being extended beyond just the desktop.
Clinging to the wreckage
It's customary to cling to something when you are in danger of sinking, but it seems to me that choosing WP7 would be like clinging to the wreckage of the engine, rather than to the lifeboat. Microsoft is clearly going down of its own accord.
And for users who can't decide which OS to choose
Look: The "average" smartphone user is an unemployed bloke like me ^W^W^W^W^W^W businessman that need his phone (sorry, 'device' nowadays) for his work. Ask him about 'MeeGo' and, assuming you're from the Orient, will direct you to the toilet.
I've got an N8-00*, and until I read the article, didn't bloody know what OS it ran. Now I know it's Symbian^3. But still doesn't make me love it any less. Or more.
Does it do what it says on the tin? Yes? Does it work well? YES!
Well, I couldn't be fuc*ked if the thing's sky-blue pink**. Does the job.
*OK, on previous posts I've stated I've never seen the need for a phone to have 2 cameras, video, radio, MP3, WiFi, FM transmitter, output to HDTV, etc. but I've stopped thinking that way.
When I was a kid, a radio was a coil of wire on a bogroll, and a 1N94 (OA97??) germanium diode, coupled to crystal earphones. If you wanted your mates to hear the BBC World Service, or Radio Caroline, you'd drop the headphones into your mom's precious china bowl for amplification. Removing the petunias, natch. Later, our family wanted a phone. I think the standard model (bit like pink NHS spectacles) was called a "7-0-1", not to be confused with the eeepc.
And so onwards.
** Actually, I wanted an orange one, but the shop didn't stock them "No-one wants orange N8's Sir".
"Well, I fuc*king do, 'cos no Canute will nick the fuc*ker!!!!"
Mis-understanding why Android is "winning"
I'm so tired of hearing how Android is taking over the world because it is "great" or something. Android is doing well for three reasons: 1-Apple redefined what a Smartphone is, (chocolate bar form factor, touch screen), 2-the existing "smartphones" (RIM, MS, Nokia) have not been able to migrate over there (MS maybe gets there with WP7), and 3-Apple has one phone model on one US carrier, so many people can't/won't get an iPhone.
Smartphones are the new "feature phone", as in, the new baseline for people. Everybody I know who is a non-techie got an Android phone *not* because they wanted an Android phone, but because their contract was up, they wanted something a little more flashy like all their iPhone friends, and the Android phone was the new free or seriously cheap phone they could get. Most of them don't know how to use any of the features, including the browser, (they didn't browse on their feature phone, so they aren't browsing on the new phone).
Many, in fact, thought they got an iPhone because it looked kind-a-like an iPhone.
This doesn't mean that Android is "bad" or anything. It just means you can't look at the number of installed Android phones, or the number of activations of Android phones, and draw *any* conclusion about Android as a platform. Nokia Symbian used to dominate (and still dominates in much of Europe), and that isn't really a platform. RIM still dominates in many businesses, but that doesn't make it a platform, either.
Android was dreamed up (as a startup) to replace Win Mobile, RIM, and (the older) Palm, and it has done quite well at that. Apps and heavy duty browsing are slap-dash add-ons for Google to respond to the iPhone, and even Google admits that they have a poor implementation for doing that.
ANDROID IS NOT NUMBER ONE,
As for nokia adopting a new OS, how about it being meego? the fact it supports QT will mean that by the time the handsets get to market, they'll be plenty of support, we are already seeing QT apps appearing for symbian
It's not the OS
The average man in the street doesn't care less about the OS.
All they care about is the user experience - ease of use, nice icons, etc.
Symbian is a custom designed OS. Absolutely fit for purpose software.
It's the UI which has let Nokia down every time.
I own a N8. Great hardware, shit UI. Skin it with SPB's UI and the phone is transformed.
If a 3rd party can integrate a fantastic UI, then why can't Nokia?
Nokia should be hiring creative software guys who can design "with bling" and fire the middle managers who stifle creativity.
Sorry but I do have to flame El Reg for trying to start some sort of rumor when there is none.
Nokia and Intel partnered on MeeGo right?
Have you seen any MeeGo phones out on the street yet?
I bet myself the first comment would be an anti-MS one. Looks like I won. Since when is WP7 a failing platform?
windows phone 7 or android
hum well its easy isnt it you choose android as its more successful than windows phone 7 is plus its open source kinda.so its east for nokia choose android if you choose 7 you would be worse off. its upto you nokia whats it gonna be :)
Microkia is such an absurdly obvious bad idea that even I am starting to believe in it. Now, how to profit from it?
There is no way I am buying a Nokia with an MS OS on it.
Nokia and mobile OS strategy
Nokia would have to be "brain dead" to make Microsoft Mobile OS a strategic part of their overall Mobile plan. They would no worse off by sticking with Symbian until the MeeGo platform is completely in place and robust. At least there would not be an appearance on confusion and lowered quality by rejecting the Windows mobile disaster.
It is bad enough they hired an executive from Redmond, a place where there has been no innovation in the latest technologies - Mobile, Cloud Computing and Multi-Media.
How many mobile chips on the market will actually feature hardware assisted virtualisation??
The ARM Cortex A15 will, but when will they start shipping? Not this year.
I wonder if the main ruse of virtualisation will be to make phones and tablets that are harder to jailbreak, and to make it easier to lock down DRM media, as with the PS3. Walling off DRM protected playback in a virtual machine looks like a plausible reason for using a hypervisor on a mobile device.
The device driver argument is probably a red herring. One of the biggest roadblocks to using hypervisors is that they still need device drivers written for them if they wish to truly abstract the hardware.
When you have 6000 Directors Of Product Enhancement you like to partner with a company with the same corporate structure.
Given Nokia's famous management overhead there aren't many companies with a similar structure - except possibly the chinese state railway.
re: Corporate match
or perhaps the NHS?
main problem, hardware plattform missing
Seriously, once you have some sort of hardware platform, maybe emulated with a hypervisor. The idea is to do it like in the PC world, distributing the OS and the hardware independently. So you'll get an SD card for your OS, you stick it into your mobile and maybe even copy it to your internal flash for speed reasons. If you want another OS, you install another OS.
Once this happens, the mobile business will get out of it's 'home computer' era.
BTW, seriously if you ever consider WP7, just look at this list:
It includes things like a file browser, or Bluetooth file transfer functionality. You cannot even use SD-cards or send USSD codes used by many operators.
"More likely that Nokia will go for WP7"
Makes sense to me. After all, we've had quite a number of articles recently suggesting that Nokia couldn't find a viable product strategy at the moment, even if the CEO walked up to his desk to find a fat envelope on it labelled "viable product strategy" and containing a viable product strategy.
WP7 is a no-brain decision for Nokia and it sounds like they might have the requisite number of thinking organs to run with it.
Android App Layer on MeeGo (and maybe Symbian)
Nokia should add an Android application compatibility layer MeeGo, it's entirely possible and just requires the Dalvik VM to be ported, and Android apps could also be provided via the Ovi Store. They could also add it to Symbian, or just keep it for MeeGo as the run-everything high-end smartphone solution.
The Android Apps would be second class citizens as far as Nokia are concerned, with the primary platform still being Qt but it would at least give Nokia the opportunity to dip it's toe into the Android eco-system without becoming just another Android ODM. And once Qt has established itself, the Android support can be deprecated in favour of 100% Qt.
Backing WP7 is a mistake, as WP7 has an even smaller eco-system than Nokia has already. Adding Android App support is a pragmatic solution that would not mean losing control of your own platform, or having the huge cost of supporting a third part OS which may cannibalise sales of your own platform OS(es).
"RIM considering allowing Android on its PlayBook device"
"RIM is expected to adopt the Dalvik virtual machine, which is also used by Android, and this would allow the firm's QNX devices, such as PlayBook, to run apps written for the Google OS."
No, no it wouldn't. RIM may well go for Dalvik, and in many ways that would make sense, it's a much leaner VM than that bloaty POS that you get from Snoracle. But in doing so, it doesn't automatically mean it will run Android apps. In order to do that they would either have to incorporate the whole Android framework (which would need porting to QNX) or provide a suitable compatibility layer to map the thousands of Android APIs onto suitable APIs in whatever application framework they do put onto QNX. Neither of those is a trivial task, and neither of those has been implied by RIM, AFAIK.
Of course it will take more than porting just the VM, as all the classes will need to be ported too but that isn't impossible, and a relatively quick win compared with any other alternative.
Nokia could, for instance, port/implement the Dalvik Android UI classes using the Qt UI framework, and the majority of native Android apps would in most cases be none the wiser.
What RIM might do is anyone's guess.
A very good article, but at the end of the day it's the shareholders who decide what happens.
If they suddenly decide they want Nokia back in the ring, then it may be forced to use Android or WP7.
At least they still have a chance, not every business is so lucky.