Two Years Is Like 10 Smartphone Years

Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley points out that a Nokia Securities and Exchange Commission filing states that “transition to Windows Phone as its ‘primary smartphone platform’ will take ‘about two years.'”

The first Nokia-made Windows Phones were supposed to be out later this year (October). However the companies have previously said that mass availability of Nokisoft phones wouldn’t happen until next year. The “two years” in the filing implies something even later — 2013.

Nokia is really in a tough spot if this is true. The company says it continues to be committed to Symbian; however Symbian is not competitive. Nokia has also abandoned MeeGo, its other mobile OS developed with Intel. Prior to the release of Windows Phones there’s likely to be stagnation in

Nokia handset sales, except at the very low, price-conscious end of the market.

Microsoft has several OEM partners building Windows Phones but those partners also build Android handsets and thus far are seeing much greater success with Android devices. Thus their motivation to push Windows Phones, except as a kind of “hedge” against Android dependency, is limited.

In this smartphone market “two years” is like ten. And given the trajectory that Android is on Nokia could easily forfeit its top position in global smartphone rankings — ceding the spot to Android (and Google). Code red: neither Microsoft nor Nokia has two years to mess around.