Nokia CEO Stephen Elop Says Google Is Closing Its Open Ecosystem

Stephen Elop

Nokia, like many companies, reported its Q4 holiday financial results today and to many people’s surprise, the results were rather positive. The company shipped 4.4 million Lumia devices during the quarter and reported its first profitable quarter in a long time. The Finnish company reported an operating profit of $584, which is dramatically better than the $754 million operating loss reported in Q3 2012. But, the earnings wouldn’t be complete without a jab at competitors, and in this case, Google was the recipient.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, while speaking at Nokia’s earnings press conference, got on Google for its effort to “close” its supposedly open ecosystem. Elop claims that Google is doing this because the high “amount of fragmentation” Android is suffering from.

“The situation that Android is facing, where the amount of fragmentation that you’re seeing is increasing as people take it in different directions, is of course offset by Google’s efforts to turn an open ecosystem into something that’s quite a bit more closed as you’ve seen quite recently.”

Google has done a few out character things, lately, but nothing that should lead anyone to believe that its ecosystem will soon become like Apple’s. The Mountain View company recently dropped support for Exchange ActiveSync support in free Google Apps accounts, which is what Windows Phone users relied on for Gmail push notifications, but that doesn’t have anything to do with Android fragmentation. Another thing Elop could be referring to, however, was Google’s temporary blockage of Google Maps through the mobile Internet Explorer browser found on Windows Phone devices. Google said the browser did not meet its requirements to run Maps, but just a few days after blocking it, Google opened the service back up to Windows Phone users. Again, none of this has anything to do with the supposedly fragmented Android market.

So, is Stephen Elop just blowing smoke? Unless he can explain, yes, he most likely is. In no way has Google started to turn its open ecosystem into something more locked down. The company has not made any changes to its Android ecosystem lately and fragmentation has actually started improving over the past few months. Many people even say that the reason for Androids success is it being open source. Any one can build a device running on the operating system, which means there’s a device that caters to almost everyone’s needs.

What do you think of Elop’s comments? Do they carry any weight? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!

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