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Windows Phone 7: Taking on HTC could be Nokia’s next big mistake

Anssi Vanjoki, outgoing head of Nokia’s smartphone division, didn’t mince his words when he said that manufacturers developing for Android are like ”Finnish boys who pee their pants for warmth in the winter”, but it appears that the pee-ability of Windows Phone 7 is significantly lower.

Venture Beat has been told by a trusted source that Nokia is “likely to use Windows Phone 7 as an additional platform for its phones.”

Backing the unknown entity that is WP7 as opposed to the already very successful Android may seem like madness at first. But we’re already snowed under with painfully average Android handsets and the wheat has well and truly separated itself from the chaff. The sensible moment to get involved with Android has passed.

In Windows Phone, Nokia probably sees an opportunity to start from scratch – with the ultimate aim to reclaim former Symbian-style glory, no doubt. But manufacturing for Win Pho means Nokia is pitting itself directly against it’s newest and best-loved competitor: HTC.

Taking on the current darling of the mobile phone world is a brave and possibly foolish move. HTC’s Android handsets have succeeded thanks to a combination of good timing, excellent software and thoughtful hardware design. In fact, HTC reminds us of Nokia in its glory days. But since then, Nokia has been left behind – relying on antiquated OSes, decreasingly intuitive hardware and a determination not to admit that things are getting dicey have all but destroyed the Finns’ reputation.

Nokia seems to be already gearing up for a scrap with HTC, what with last week’s press conference shenanigans and the top-level reshuffle. Although we haven’t seen any HTC Windows Phone 7 hardware in the flesh yet, we’re confident that it’s going to be on a par with its Android offerings.

Sure, there’s a chance that Nokia will pull itself up by the bootstraps and dazzle us with our dream Windows Phone 7 handset. But given the way things are currently going and the fact that HTC is playing at such a high standard, putting itself in direct OS competition with HTC right now could be the nail in Nokia’s coffin.

UPDATE
: We’ve had a very polite email from Nokia gently reminding us that the whole Windows Phone 7 thing is a rumour (without outright denying that the Finnish company will be making hardware for the new OS). In their own words:

“Our platforms are Series 40, Symbian and MeeGo. That stance was reinforced strongly by our management during Nokia World, and we currently have no plans to use other operating systems.”

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