There are some rumors and speculation that Nintendo might unveil Wii2 at E3 in June. Here's what I think Nintendo should do:
1. Sell it for $99 as an ARM Powered set-top-box
2. Use ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core or Quad-core with future proof 1080p graphics, even support 1080p 3D output.
3. Little integrated storage, but include SD card slot(s) and support USB Host for external hard drive storage.
4. It's a Blu-ray player, but all the games should be downloadable and stored on SD cards or USB hard drives.
5. Nintendo should start unlimited games subscription packages, games are downloaded from the Internet, eventually even use BitTorrent, synchronize also unlimited games onto the Nintendo 3DS and using new official Game Cart for previous Nintendo portable and home consoles. The main problem with this is the disruption of retail stores and the ways they promote the sale of video games. But it's a change Nintendo has to make. $10-$20 per month in a subscription should give unlimited access to all past and future Nintendo games for home and portable consoles.
6. Wii2 should run Google TV software in my opinion, so it also doubles as the best HDTV VOD Set-top-box, so it disrupts regular TV programming, Nintendo can turn everything to on-demand entertainment in the living room.
7. All previous Nintendo games can be updated online, and can receive new online gaming modes.
8. Built-in HD video conferencing, might require additional HD usb webcam.
9. The Wii2 creates a WiFi hotspot to interact automatically with the 3DS/DSi/DS, and includes Bluetooth also for remote controls, including also a bluetooth keyboard and a bluetooth headset.
10. New innovative virtual reality gaming mechanisms, might add Kinect-style 3D cameras, but more likely, new Wii game controllers, new gloves and even detectors on feet for a full virtual reality experience. Maybe they integrate sensors like the Freescale MMA9550L in their new remotes and compact body sensors. Some type of glasses with two IR emitters perhaps as well using this trick.
11. The size should be barely larger than a dual CD case. With Blu-ray player in there, HDMI output (possibly HDMI input/throughput also for full Google TV like features and easy setup), Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 host ports, new TV sensor ports.
Which ARM chip provider could get that deal with Nintendo to be mass produced into Wii2? Could it be Nvidia's Kal-El, OMAP4440, i.MX6, Marvell's Tri-Core, Qualcomm's Quad-core? What do you think Nintendo should do for the Wii2? Write in the comments..
- Nintendo Wii 2 at E3 hints EA boss (slashgear.com)
- EA dubs Nintendo Wii a 'legacy platform' (go.theregister.com)
- Wii reaches 35 million sales, earns new record (Wii) (gamesradar.com)
- 'Wii's Time Has Passed' - Strategy Analytics (businessinsider.com)
- High Voltage details their hopes for a Wii successor, Wii looking a bit 'haggard' (gonintendo.com)
The craze started at the release of iPhone1 in June 2007. I remember watching the live stream on Mogulus, predecesor to livestream.com, it was filmed and broadcast by Max Haost, founder of livestream.com and they were extremely hilarious in the way they would actually make fun of the people standing in line. I find this unbelievably hilarious, it's the extreme example of the gadget-craze (out-of-control gadget consumerism?)
The ipad 2 line in Houston, TX as reported by Engadget.
Blame the analysts, unless they see lines, they think Apple isn't selling any products.
This launch was engineered to generate lines (no pre-orders, 3 week waits if ordered on line...) and lots of free publicity...
Comment by Ghostbear1 in that Engadget article.
the scarcity principle is the mother of all marketing techniques (...) We generally perceive that things that are difficult to get are typically better than things that are easily available. If everyone wants it then it must be good right? This actually taps into the principle called social proof
Queuing up for a piece of gadget is a really weird concept. In theory, especially for Apple, those devices are mass produced in gigantic proportions in the biggest Chinese factories, somehow Apple would not be able to manufacture enough to sell to whomever would want one?
This whole lining up deal is a situation designed by Apple's viral marketing department.
This carefully choreographed gadget marketing/pricing ballet has turned Apple into the second largest company in the world, just 3 and a half years after the release of the iPhone. It's really insane if you think about it. If not for the largest oil company in the world Exxon Mobile, Apple would be the largest company in the world, and most of Apple's current profits and revenues come from their ARM Powered iOS devices, especially the iPhone.
So now Apple is doing a big push on the tablet market with iPad. And the iPad2 certainly has a nice Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor in there.
There are Android tablets like Archos 101 Internet Tablet released 6 months ago, that are lighter at 480gr vs 600gr, that have real mini-HDMI outputs built-in, real USB-host built-in, a real kick-stand built-in, and that still support more video and audio codecs (such as all DivX, MKV found on BitTorrents), with Flash support, real multi-tasking for 40% to 60% cheaper price than the ipad2.
In my opinion, Honeycomb is the first real Tablet OS. And I am pretty sure Honeycomb tablets will overtake iPad market share in less than a year, faster than Android overtook iPhone after the Nexus One release.
For some engineering resource/time allocation/prioritisation issues, Google chose not to allow much to happen with tablets with Donut, Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread. Companies like Archos were left with the open source part of Android, doing the customizations they want, but for some strategic reason, they were left without the full support from Google. Google didn't want Android Powered iPad and iPod Touch competitors to dominate the market in 2010. They thought they perhaps were busy enough dominating smartphone growth of that year, and gaining the full support by two dozen Smartphone makers in the process.
I think Google's strategy is to simply let the Apple viral marketing people do their thing first, then get their better open and free software in gear, and riding on Apple's viral marketing coat-tails, Google's Android ecosystem can then provide the big push and rapidly dominate.
This is also a dance of technological disruption, and disruption of those disruptors. Google can't be seen as encouraging the industrys too rapid change, while some companies bet their futures on the Open Handset Alliance, Google had to be careful and let the market move as fast as it can without hurting the feelings of the big partners who invest billions of dollars in this and want to see their investments safely recouped.
In any ways, look forward to the Android Honeycomb ecosystem taking care of making Android the top platform for tablets fast, and look forward to new designs to make tablets even more fun, more productive, and basically turn these gadgets into the user interface of the future of mobile computing for all the people of the world.
Google may or may not soon be allowed to add Hulu Plus to its Google TV boxes, which may provide the Google TV boxes access to most of the TV shows and other content that currently is being blocked on Google TV by US TV Networks such as Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and Viacom. Why would they want to block Google TV? Cause it's the trojan horse that disrupts TV from within, once consumers are only one click away from any YouTube video, only one click away from all VOD, legal or illegal, once this is easy to use and available for all in a sub-$100 cheap ARM Powered Google TV box, this is when those 5-hours per day people watch TV start spending more and more of that time watching content that is not owned or controlled by these networks.
At the same time, something awesome is going on with Google and Sony vs Cable Networks and the Movie industry at the FCC. Arstechnica published this awesome article explaining how Google and Sony are supporting an FCC regulation called the AllVid system.
The trade association is trying to set limits on how easy it will be for devices like Google TV to access pay TV content and reassemble it into something that will reconfigure both television and the Internet.
That's at the heart of the FCC's proposal for an AllVid system, which Google very loudly supports. AllVid doesn't exist yet, but the idea is to mandate an industry-wide gadget that you could plug into your broadband router and connect to your cable TV provider, then watch online video and pay channels through a variety of AllVid-friendly devices. Not surprisingly, Google and Sony love this idea, because it could transform the Google TV from just a neat product into a revolution.
Big cable hates the proposal, because that revolution could leave multi-video program distributors (MVPDs), if not in the dust, at least working in a far more competitive video environment.
Basically, what this could mean, is that content would be separated from technology. Content owners won't be able to make exclusive streaming partnerships with one set-top-box maker and not be available on the other. What this means, is that Hulu and Netflix must be available on all devices and that there will be a standard user interface to access all those on-demand and streaming contents.
This probably also means that all of those TV Networks in the USA who are streaming their TV shows for free using ads from their websites, would have to provide all that content to all devices through standardized user interfaces. None of these content providers can choose to block any device from accessing any content, and the advertising and pay-per-view models will thus be standardized.
Big cable insists that the metadata used to create on-screen program guides is copyrighted. The Motion Picture Association of America protests that the AllVid idea would put studio content painfully close to sites like The Pirate Bay.
Program guides should not be copyrighted, that is ridiculous. Anyone should be allowed to list what is going to be on TV at any given time. And anyone should be allowed to list movie titles, directors, actors, plot and even display a poster for each of those contents.
The MPAA is correct, this will mean that pirated content will also just be one click away, but that will force content owners to allow for seamless access to all the contents either for free with ads or at very reasonable cost as pay-per-view. And this will also enable the next step for Government regulation, that is to standardize the all-you-can-eat subscription model so that one Global Licence cover the legal and free access to all contents.
- ARM Powered Google TV confirmed (armdevices.net)
- The technical reason TV Networks can block Google TV (for now..) (armdevices.net)
- Hollywood: Google TV would put us in same ship as pirates! (arstechnica.com)
- Can cable block the Google TV revolution? (arstechnica.com)
According to French market analyst GfK, Archos is now the second biggest tablet maker on the French market, far in front of Samsung (4%), Toshiba (3%), Huawei, Viewsonic and others. Sure enough Apple has the biggest market share with 67%, but I think that's mostly due to Apple having more cash for manufacturing and distribution. If Archos had been able to spend more money producing more units and having better stock availability at all resellers and never run out of stock during these past 3 months, then I think Archos would probably be number 1 in market share, even in front of Apple.
As I run the biggest Archos fansite community at http://forum.archosfans.com and I have been publishing the earliest and most popular video reviews of Archos products for over 6 years, publishing the earliest and most popular videos of Archos full Tablet line such as the 70 Internet Tablet, 7 Home Tablet, 101 Internet Tablet, 32 Internet Tablet, 43 Internet Tablet, I may be biased. But I am sure that if all stores had enough Archos in stock to satisfy the demand for tablets over these past 3 months, Archos would sell even more than Apple.
What matters to the consumer is the value proposition. What features they can get for what price. Archos newest Gen8 Android tablets are about half the price of the iPad and provide more features.
I was at this workshop at Lift11 where we brain-stormed the http://dontmakemesteal.com project which has been gaining media attention during these past few days on wired.com, heise.de, rawstory.com, gigaom.com, sueddeutsche.de, news.ycombinator.com and more. I was on the team in charge of writing the pricing model for this manifesto.
Here is what needs to happen for piracy to dissapear:
Everyone pays $5 per month to access everything. Everyone is then allowed to watch, download, stream any movie, tv show, music, ebook, blog post, download, install and use any application.
This has been called the Global Licence by French socialist party in 2005 when they tried to pass it through the French Parliament (but the law was then cancelled by Chiraq's Government). I was since then a strong supporter of the Global Licence model and I even campaigned through video-blogging 450 videos for Segolène Royal's presidential election campaign in 2007 in France to try to get this law passed in one major European country, which would likely then trickle over to be the standard online content law, the copyright/piracy fix for the world, a foundation allowing for the creation of much better content and a solution allowing for development of much better technological solutions to more easily consume all the best content.
The Netflix model may seem great on the surface, but the reality of a technology provider having to sign content distribution deals with all the content creators in the world is just not a sustainable model. There will be plenty of content creators who will have demands that Netflix cannot meet, and that means a lot of content is then not going to be available in certain markets. Having many separate and closed subscription plans is not a sustainable model.
The only true solution is a Government mandated blanket licencing pricing and redistribution model, thus the global licence tax, where everyone pays a small tax to legally access all contents.
$5 per month paid by everyone in the USA and Europe means $60 Billion per year in revenues through this model, that is probably largely enough to finance great content creation. The redistribution of this wealth would happen through decentralized and multiple measurers of popularity and quality of content. For example, Google can measure exact popularity and quality of YouTube videos, last.fm can measure how many times people listen to songs, Razorback and other p2p statistics systems can measure popularity of files on p2p networks. More such models of measurement of popularity and quality/ratings can be implemented once having such more precise statistics and ratings will be demanded.
The advantages of this model:
- The money can be distributed directly to content creators, skipping all intermediaries. The content creators thus are in control of their budgets, content creation is thus less influenced by the intermediaries.
- Technology providers can focus on providing better technologies instead of having to worry about acquiring rights for content. Technology providers can sell or monetize their solutions based on the cost of bandwidth and storage rather than having to monetize through complicated models.
- Consumers don't have to think about where they can find which content based on who has the rights to distribute it. Consumers can just make a search for what they want, and they can download or stream it through any number of technology and solution providers.
Picasa, YouTube and now also Google Art Project, all cloud services that are ready for Quad HD and beyond!
The usage scenario is something like this, have a slideshow of your favorite art from around the world displayed in Quad HD resolution in your living room sub-$1000 46" Quad-HDTV.
Anyone with a 3megapixel photo camera or higher creates photo content suitable to be viewed on a Quad HD screen.
Anyone filming with upcoming RED cameras or other consumer camcorders to come that record 2K, 3K, 4K, 5K or more, all those deserve to be seen on Quad HD screen, and can be streamed from YouTube even!
Screen and Projector industry, please take this advice: Give up on 3D as soon as possible and make us some Quad-HD, 4K2K screens and projectors at the same cost as 3D!!! All it takes is a new faster processor to process the higher resolution!
Here are some of the Quad HD screens I saw at conferences during the past few years, every time I see content on a Quad HD screen, I am blown away:
JVC 4K2K Camcorder and TV at CES 2011
Samsung 3840x2160p 82″ LCD HDTV at CeBIT 2008
JVC 4K2K HDTV and Projector at IFA 2008
- JVC KY-F4000 - JVC shows new 4k and 8k cameras. (frankglencairn.wordpress.com)
- World's greatest art galleries now on Google Street View (telegraph.co.uk)
After the awesome CES last month, I expect an even better Mobile World Congress, from February 13-18th, I will post at least 50 videos here on http://ARMdevices.net showing you the best ARM Powered devices shown at that show. Here are some of the fascinating topics that I expect to film:
- Samsung's ARM Cortex-A9 Orion processor with ARM Mali-400 graphics in Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy Tab2. Is it a 32nm process design already?
- Freescale to show first i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 reference board or even announce actual devices using it?
- Texas Instruments OMAP4 in actual products, more than just RIM Blackberry Playbook. I expect several phones and tablets will feature the 1Ghz OMAP4430 to be released by end of Q1 and they will probably show and announce devices with 1.5Ghz OMAP4440 for later availability.
- Google shows Honeycomb. Not just videos as they did at CES, but they actually allow everyone to play around with the UI. They should announce Google Music, an expansion of Google Voice for worldwide free VOIP usage. Honeycomb should bring open Google Marketplace for all tablets, for all devices, even laptops. I am hoping Google even announces Honeycomb for Rockchip, Telechips, MSM7227 as well. Honeycomb may be synchronized with the launch of Google TV on ARM as well, or at the least, Honeycomb Google Marketplace should work for Google TV screens. First showing of Chrome OS for ARM Powered laptops would be appropriate as well, full hardware acceleration demonstration for HD web browsing on all the ARM Cortex-A9 processors would be appropriate.
- Texas Instruments nHD Pico Projector could be demonstrated in several upcoming smartphones. Adding a built-in projector will be one of the coolest features of a modern smartphone.
- ST Ericsson U8500 ARM Cortex-A9 ready in Nokia's next generation smartphone and tablet devices running Meego. But I also expect Nokia to announce and show a whole range of Android devices which I expect have been under development for a year.
- Nvidia to launch Tegra 2 1.2Ghz 3D edition with full 1080p all codecs high profile playback, faster multi-tab HD web browsing processing and they'll announce and show some Tegra3 stuff as well.
- Qualcomm MSM8660, 8260 to be launched in range of new smartphones and tablets. This is Qualcomm's big Dual-core Snapdragon processor design push. It may be huge and Qualcomm may dominate Dual-core smartphones as well.
- Marvell 628 Tri-core demonstrated in devices. May be the appropriate timing for them to show demos? Marvell in any case is powering the best example of ARM Powered laptop in OLPC XO-1.75 that should be shipping mid-year, and they certainly have some ambitious Marvell Armada XP ARM Powered server projects going on.
- Rockchip's partners launch more RK2918 devices. Suitable for low-cost ARM Cortex-A8 tablet designs.
- New Telechips TCC8803 ARM Cortex-A8 designs for other low-cost tablet designs.
- It would be nice to test some Windows 7/8 ARM demonstrations. Microsoft can do a good job porting all the apps and fixing up all the necessary drivers. Let's see what they have! It would be a nice surprise, but I don't expect Microsoft to precipitate things too fast.
- HTC releases their next generation Android phones and a tablet. It's their replacement for Nexus One/HTC Desire/Droid Incredible. My wild guess is it could be based Qualcomm MSM8660 dual-core and include a HTC Tablet as well.
- RIM Blackberry demonstrates support for Android apps on the Playbook tablet. This way, they skip the need to start a whole new app marketplace from scratch.
- HP launches WebOS devices. Let's see what it can do. I think HP will probably have to use Android though eventually. Hey, competition is always nice, but sometimes when a good open-source platform is free, everyone can just as well contribute to that same ecosystem and if anyone thinks they can make things better, they can fork it or demand the improvements implemented at the level of the Open Handset Alliance. HP did a beautiful ARM Powered laptop before in Compaq Airlife, I'd like to see them upgrade that with Qualcomm MSM8660 Dual-core platform and Honeycomb software.
- I'll be looking for any demonstrations of platforms such as the Broadcom BCM2157 to enable cheaper Android phones. Sub-$100, how soon, how good.
What do you expect from Mobile World Congress? What would you like me to film in priority? Which questions should I ask to whom? You can also send me tips on what I should film at MWC to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org Do you agree or disagree with any of my expectations? Post in the comments.
The smartphone OS wars are not about functionality or design, they are about the business model. Consumers or tech blog reviewers don't get to chose which smartphone OS wins and looses.
Today, the carriers decide
The main reason Android dominates today is that carriers pay about $200 less per customer on an Android phone compared to an iPhone (about $400 vs $600). The other aspect of Android that carriers like is the customization of it to make more money on extra services. For example, Google provides the carrier with a share from app sales in the Google Marketplace. Carriers can pre-load the devices with apps for on-demand music and videos and other services. Apple does not give carriers any share of revenues from the App Store or iTunes.
The actual bill of materials and manufacturing cost of today's high end Android smartphone or iPhone is less than $150. Amazingly, the average US smartphone consumer pays above $2400 for his smartphone on contracts, for example, Verizon's Average Revenue Per User is $105/month. ARPU is lower in Europe, and much lower in developing countries. The carrier economic aspect of Android winning is only how things are today. Even as there is competition with very good high end Android smart phones provided to the market by Samsung, Motorola and HTC, consumers still pay about the same for these phones as they would with an iPhone.
When the carriers loose control
Things are going to change fast. Soon, the carriers will loose control of the smartphone market, and Android will dominate even more.
As 20 Android smart phone makers compete, there are to be $99 Android phones sold unlocked directly to consumers, such as the Chinese Huawei or ZTE Android phones, there will be alternatives to carriers voice services such as the new VOIP centric version of Google Voice which has become an integral part of Android in Gingerbread.
The next phase of Android means consumers will have choices such as the Archos 28 Internet Tablet at $99, no contracts needed, to do SIP/VOIP/Skype calls on WiFi-only, and depending on the region of the world, there are sub-$20/month even sub-$10/month data SIM cards that will be used to get Data-only experiences of Android. White Spaces could also provide for worldwide free wireless broadband for these devices if setup using the http://fon.com model.
While bloggers analyze smartphone differentiation, fueling a feature war on blogs among constantly improving Android super phone specs, in which new models are represented as destroyers of the ones released the previous week, the fact is brands that sell most don't do it on features, they do it by negotiating the strongest deals with the carriers. If you look at the US smartphone market, it really doesn't matter which high end Android phone consumers buy, they all cost basically the same $2400+ after those compulsory 2-years in contracts. The consumer only really gets a choice once devices are sold unlocked through all retailers. Then, prices for these devices will have a meaning and the best value for feature will clearly win. So if you thought it was fun with all these Android phones coming out through carriers this past year, you haven't seen nothing yet compared to what will happen once phones are sold unlocked directly to consumers.
The next billion sub-$100 Android smartphones
Android smartphones can thus soon be $100 unlocked instead of $2400+ on contract. We are talking about a 24x cheaper Android experiences for the consumer. At that point, the consumer gets to choose who wins the smartphone war. This is happenning. It doesn't matter what Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia and others do. When there are $100 Android phones in every super market, competitors don't get to keep a market share if they don't also provide the devices unlocked for $100 with no contracts needed. You think Apple is looking forward to loosing their 300% profit margins on the iPhone?
What carriers will do to try to keep control
The only ways carriers will try to retain control on their trillion dollar industry will be to block VOIP on cheap wireless data plans, buy out and close down any pre-paid carrier competitors that are offering services that are too cheap on any given market, campaign against unlicensed use of the 700Mhz spectrum for White Spaces, block the licensing of 3G/4G modem technologies in cheap unlocked devices, do anything they can to limit competition in the wireless carrier business. Hopefully all these attempts at keeping control will be defeated by strict regulation and government policies.
The smartphone industry is moving too fast for any Government to regulate it, much too fast even for carriers to adjust and protect themselves against the auto-disruption that is inevitable. Everyone is racing and trying to keep the flow of money going their way for as long as possible.
[I originally wrote this on 16th December 2010 to be published on another blog, but since it wouldn't get published there as is, I decided to post it here, your turn to say what you think in the comments.]
The idea as suggested in this computerworld column, is that the next generation smart phones are to replace all passwords, credit cards, car keys and other identification and authentication functions.
The potential problem I see with Nexus S and the rumored iPhone5's NFC implementation would be if they leave out ARM's TrustZone security system. If those NFC chips are nothing much more than some types of RFID tags for near field authentication, that wouldn't be enough. We need devices with 100% secure modes that are built in the hardware and that are not improvised in software.
As you can see in the video below, as far as I understand it, TrustZone uses a hardware mechanism in the phone's hardware to provide for 100% security in authentication, which could be used not only for secure payments, but for authentication with any kinds of online banking and any passwords for any type of website.
The idea is that you need to be able to put your phone in a 100% secure mode from which the authentication happens in some 100% secure way. The secure mode is a parallel OS mode on the phone, which cannot be hacked nor cannot display spoofed authentication screens.
Here's a usage scenario. You click on any website with a login, be it gmail or any other website, instead of typing in your password on the screen, which could have keyloggers and trojan horses, a login prompt automatically displays on your phone with a light indicator elsewhere than on the screen of your phone lights up letting you know you are in 100% secure mode, the secure mode asks you to authenticate for a given authenticated domain login, you type in your 4-number pin code on your phone in the secure mode, that's it, your phone authenticates your browser logon, no matter what site it is. Basically, your phone becomes as secure as those calculator types authentication systems that online banks use. Those are basically unhackable, because encryption can be so strong, it would take billions of years for all the computers in the world to find the key to powerful encryption. The only way for someone to access your online accounts would be for them to steal your phone and to know your pin code.
I'd like to know, does Nexus S or any upcoming "NFC" type implementations include something like the ARM TrustZone to provide for true secure online authentication or do we need to wait for yet another generation of devices before we have true meaningful online security?
- iPhone 5 and iPad 2 NFC confirmed tip engineers; free NFC payment terminal considered (slashgear.com)
- Apple Aims To Take NFC Mainstream; Perhaps The Greatest Trick They've Ever Pulled? (techcrunch.com)
- Apple job posts point to built-in NFC capabilities for iPad / iPhone (engadget.com)
- Nexus S NFC Writing Capabilities Included, But Hidden (pocketnow.com)
- Stanford researchers demo social NFC applications on the Nexus S (engadget.com)
There are some talks about Nokia CEO giving clues about Nokia announcing the support of another OS soon. I think it definitely has to be Android support.
Nokia is the biggest phone maker in the world, they make about half a billion phones each year, it's insane. The thing is, Nokia makes phones that sell at an average below $20 each, most are being sold in developing countries actually. And even though Nokia makes about 15 times more phones than Apple, they make less than 15 times the profit that Apple does.
Nokia could make the industrys best sub-$100 Android phones, at that price with no subsidy or subscription contracts required. That would completely disrupt the whole iPhone and high-end Android and WP7 market in one swoop. That would focus the market in the area where Nokia is best, at making small margins and large volume.
Nokia could design their own Nokia Android Marketplace if they want, I don't think they should, instead they have to demand custom standard Google Marketplace, as Google does share in App sales profits with the manufacturer.
Nokia could do all kinds of custom Android UI customizations, as Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, HTC, Samsung, Acer, Lenovo and others have done. I don't think they should. They should give up on the urge to differentiate in UI designs and instead concentrate on differentiation in hardware design and smooth support for software features through the hardware design, that is the true purpose of a smartphone manufacturer. Give consumers vanilla Android and let consumers install alternative home replacements if they so wish to. Eventually, design a Nokia home replacement if you absolutely want, have it installed by default but absolutely allow for a full change to vanilla Android home UI in an official, not hidden, one click process.
If Nokia has "better ideas" in terms of things such as integrating Qt development framework with Android, suggest more Native Applications Support (such as faster improvements to the Android NDK) or in terms of pushing Android towards more openness in the development process, then "simply" join Google's Open Handset Alliance and put your full influence on improving the platform for everyone. Be nice.
I am sure Nokia has had a hundred engineers preparing their Android phones for more than a year now, it had probably been some secret projects in their R&D labs that they have been preparing just in case they later find out they need to go the Android route. A big company like Nokia can not afford not to look into Android as the open source releases are released for all to experiment with for free, Nokia could not afford not to prepare some designs just in case, and this is the case for it now.
I think the industry should prepare for the idea that Nokia might make excellent Android phone series to be sold unlocked below $100, below $200, and even some high-end at those below $400 price points. But I think Nokia could aim at the below $200 to feel as good as other companies high-end devices. That is, of course, only, if Nokia is not too much in bed with carriers in a way to prevent themselves from planning to take significant smartphone markeshare overnight by being the mega-disruptor of the Smartphone market, instead of doing like most others do which is to focus on maximizing margins and conspiring with the carriers to trick most consumers into 2-year contracts that are so lame.
What do you think Nokia wants to do and what are they able to do? Post your opinions in the comments.