Last week, Nokia’s new executive vice president of the Mobile Solutions unit, Anssi Vanjoki, essentially banked the future of his company on its MeeGo handset platform. MeeGo was created this past February through the merger of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin operating systems, both of which are Linux-based. Compared to every other currently available smartphone operating system, MeeGo is a relative babe — the first developer build with an interface arrived just one day before Vanjoki’s public commitment to use it. And this relative newness amidst established platforms is one of many reasons why Nokia should stop MeeGo efforts now and embrace Google’s Android platform.
I address this argument in more depth in our most recent GigaOM Pro research report (subscription required), but many of my thoughts revolve around the same central theme — there are a number of reasons not to use MeeGo, and Nokia has yet to provide a compelling reason why it should use MeeGo. And while Nokia tries to find one while continuing to evolve MeeGo, Android devices are selling at annual rate of 58 million handset per year.
The Finnish handset maker can save money, reduce development costs and still play to its hardware design strengths with Android. Between unique hardware and — if Nokia felt the need — a customized interface, Android-powered Nokia handsets would rival those of HTC, a company that embraced Android early on and is enjoying more than 66 percent year-over-year revenue growth. While HTC thrives thanks to Android, Nokia is instead reducing already low sales expectations. Maybe MeeGo needs go away before it actually arrives on smartphones.