Nokia iffy on Android tablets, blames profit margins

by Kristen Nicole

The Android tablet market is an enticing one, but not alluring enough for Nokia (NOK) head Stephen Elop. The newest CEO is biding his time when it comes to launching a mobile tablet, saying he wants Nokia to do things right, not just quickly. “I don’t want [Nokia’s] to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all the others,” Elop says in an interview. But it’s his take on Android in particular that reiterates Nokia’s devotion to the Microsoft (MSFT) camp.

“Even if a company is making all sorts of money with Android, it’s very well understood that...margins will come under increasing pressure,” Elop says later in the interview. It has been a rough start for Android tablet makers, leaving the iPad to revel in its market lead. On the other hand, the Android platform itself has increased margins for several companies, including HTC (2498.TW). As Google (GOOG) establishes its platform for the tablet space, there’s still risk involved in making an Android tablet. But many are still hopeful of the long-term benefits, especially branded tablet makers such as Amazon (AMZN) and Barnes & Noble (BKS).

The good and bad of location data

While Google’s not likely to worry itself over Elop’s Android apprehension, the company is dealing with the consequences of its data collection methods for Android smartphones. Google’s South Korea office was raided by police this week, investigating whether the search engine has been collecting users’ location data through AdMob, its mobile ad platform. Google’s reportedly cooperative with the investigation, telling eWeek they’re “happy to work with the Korean authorities.” During a similar raid last year, South Korean officials entered Google’s office to check out the search giant’s data collection and use for Street Views, a mapping initiative.

The whole debacle demonstrates the significance of location data, especially as it becomes a major pivot point for emerging mobile apps. After the star-studded release of the Color photo-sharing app, Pupil looks to leverage tagged photos in a new way. Pupil is a socially-driven Q&A service that puts photos at the center of each question. Adding visual context offers a proof point for the Q&A app, combining text, images, location and crowd-sourcing to learn your surroundings in real time.