Google’s chief executive Eric Schmidt has confirmed that his company held "confidential negotiations with Nokia that were extensive" before the Finnish company chose to sign up with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform.
Mr Schmidt told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that “We would have loved that they had chosen Android. They chose the other guys, that other competitor, Microsoft. I think we are pretty straightforward.”
He said that Nokia would be welcomed to Android should they reconsider in the future.
Shares in Nokia have fallen by up to 20pc since the announcement of the deal with Microsoft, but analysts have observed that the mobile phone company, still the world’s largest, did not have any other options.
Mr Schmidt said that “We would like them to adopt Android at some point in the future and that offer remains open. We think Android was a good choice for Nokia. We are sorry they made a different choice.”
Although Nokia has said that it will ship a Windows Phone 7 handset this year, it is only likely to make large volumes of new smartphones in 2012.
Android, Mr Schmidt said, was rapidly growing beyond 300,000 activations per day. He said that 27 manufacturers now used the OS, and that it was available in 69 countries.
The comments were made to journalists after Mr Schmidt’s keynote address to MWC in which he made a wide-ranging case for computers than meant humans were “Not lost, never lonely, never bored”.
He said new technology offered the possibility of “a lifelong life of knowledge and entertainment – a pot pourri for all of us to choose from”.
Mr Schmidt said his vision was of “A future for the masses not the elites; 2 billion people will enter our conversation who we’ve never heard from will enter our conversation in the next year.”