I don't see what the benefit for them would to compete in the hardware business when they can deliver their software on top of 95% of all smart phones instead.
In terms of operating revenue, Motorola died in 2007, Sony Ericsson died in 2008. That left Nokia, RIM, HTC, Samsung, and Apple.
Apart from Apple, the only companies to make more money after Android was released were Samsung and HTC, because they were the only viable phone makers who switched to Android. Motorola and Sony Ericsson were already toast - they couldn't compete with HTC and Samsung.
RIM and Nokia are the other two viable handset manufacturers. If they switch to Android, I think they'd make more money.
> I don't see what the benefit for them would to compete in the hardware business when they can deliver their software on top of 95% of all smart phones instead.
"If we can capture just X% of this huge market, we'll make out like bandits!".
What? I don't get your logic. What do you mean by viable and why do you consider RIM and Nokia to be viable when they're deep in the red?
If switching to Android didn't work for Motorola, Sony, LG, and even HTC(revenues and profits are crashing hard), why would it work for Nokia or RIM?
Competing in a race to the bottom with minimal customer loyalty(see HTC's lack of repeat sales) is not really viable.
Not the OP, but both RIM & Nokia had excellent sales channels (much better than Motorola, Sony or LG) and Nokia especially had fantastic scale to for their logistics chain. Nokia could build and distribute any phone cheaper than anyone else in the world. In the post Tim Cook world Apple may well have surpassed them there now though.