No one is arguing that Nokia’s position in the smartphone market right now is ideal, but Bernstein Research’s Pierre Ferragu believes that the embattled company is even worse off than we thought. In a report issued last week, the analyst argues that the Finnish OEM’s stock is currently overvalued, and that its only hope for survival is to jump on the Android bandwagon before it’s too late.
Nokia’s two main markets are both struggling in the face of competition. Cheap Android handsets are already eating up most of the feature phone market, which Nokia competes in with Series 40, with Firefox OS primed to swoop in as well. Meanwhile, Windows Phone 8 has failed to gain a decent market share in the face of competition from iOS, Android and even BlackBerry, hovering at around a three percent share in the United States for the past year.
Meanwhile, Google’s Android OS is running on over 50 percent of US smartphones and continues to grow its lead over the competition according to the latest reports. For Ferragu, Nokia’s solution is clear: start pumping out Android handset as quickly as possible.
“Better to take the pill before one cannot afford to do so anymore,” he writes.” We wouldn’t be surprised to see Nokia adopting Android as its new low-end platform by year end.”
Replacing its Series 40 phones with a line of low-cost Android handsets could help Nokia’s business without alienating its biggest ally, Microsoft, which continues to shovel money at the company in exchange for its stoic devotion to Windows Phone. We’d also love to see a high-end Lumia device that runs the latest Android OS, but for now that just isn’t in the cards.