Re: Maybe HTC could focus on
I believe Nokia have got $10bn in their cash-pile. Or perhaps, given where they're from, hoard would be be the word... So they've got enough cash to dump MS and go the Android route, if they fancy a last throw of the dice.
One of their problems is that it's not just smartphones where they're failing. From the figures I saw a while back they only made half their phone profits from smarties, and the other half from the larger number of cheap dumb-phones. That's before Elop joined. The Chinese had finally caught up with their brilliant supply-chain and started beating them on price a few years ago, and I'd guess one of the reasons they went with Elop and Windows may have been that they wanted some higher profit smarphones to counter the loss of the dumb-phone market share, and they saw MS as the better chance to achieve that than Android or fixing Symbian / Meego.
As for their hardware being a generation behind, I think that's utter bollocks. They may be using lesser chips than the top 'Droids and iPhones, but most of that stuff is bought in anyway. They can always put in better ones and faster RAM if required. But Win Pho doesn't seem to need the top hardware, MS may actually have written some decently efficient code. Although it may equally be that there aren't enough demanding apps to make the multi-tasking in WP8 break sweat. I've not played much with WP8, so I've no idea how it handles heavy loads of simultaneous running apps.
Also, they've got some excellent camera hardware/software. Possibly some of the best amongst the mobile lot. That may even be a reason they dump Windows. If MS don't make OS changes that allow them to do their full Pureview goodness, I'd have though Android would be a more flexible option.
The phone is killing off the mp3 player, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't kill the cheap compact camera market as well, in a few years. Obviously if you want a big lens, then it's bridge cameras of SLRs you need - but if you can have a 3x zoom fold out lens on a tiny camera, why not on a phone? Or if the Pureview thing means you can get almost as good results without, then so much the better.