"Nobody goes there anymore," Yogi Berra once famously said. "It's too crowded."

Well, it seems as if every new generation deserves its own Berra-ism.

"What we see is that youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones," Nokia (NYSE: NOK) exec Niels Munksgaard said in a Pocket-lint website interview yesterday. "Everyone has the iPhone."

He didn't stop there.

"Many are not happy with the complexity of Android and the lack of security," he added before promoting his own horse in the smartphone race. "We do increasingly see that the youth that wants to be on the cutting edge and try something new are turning to the Windows phone platform."

Boom! Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the brand that kids want in their handsets. Who needs to be one with the masses elsewhere? Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android are the mobile operating systems of choice on more than 200 million activated devices apiece.

The blogosphere and Twitterati are naturally ripping Munksgaard's comments as out of touch, but they're also missing the method behind the madness.

Microsoft is paying Nokia billions to champion Windows Phone as its smartphone platform of choice. If Nokia is going to convince the world that Microsoft is a relevant mobile operating system, it's going to have to start by convincing itself.

 Mr. Softy and the Finnish handset giant know what it's like to take market dominance for granted. They were once the hot hands behind hot gadgetry.

Does anyone still remember Apple's 1997 "Think Different" ad campaign? How about the "1984" Super Bowl ad more than a decade earlier? Apple's marketing approach was to lampoon the popular because it was the underdog. As the world's most valuable tech company, Apple is the new Goliath -- at least with consumers that can afford the Cupertino company's wares.

In reality, the Symbian platform that Nokia has been championing before inheriting Microsoft's cause is every bit as popular as iOS on a global basis, though it's fading fast. Let's revisit trend tracker Gartner's latest report on smartphone sales.


Q3 Handsets

Q3 2011 Share

Q3 2010 Share

Android 60.5 million 52.5% 25.3%
Symbian 19.5 million 16.9% 36.3%
iOS 17.3 million 15% 16.6%
RIM 12.7 million 11% 15.4%
Bada 2.5 million 2.2% 1.1%
Microsoft 1.7 million 1.5% 2.7%

Source: Gartner.

Google's Android is the top dog. Apple's share is holding steady, and should improve this quarter with the iPhone 4S introduction in October. Symbian, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), and Microsoft are getting slammed, though Microsoft should see a dramatic bump higher at Symbian's expense in the coming quarters.

In a nutshell, clearly everybody doesn't have an iPhone. Android also isn't complicated. I'd also warrant a guess that today's youth want little to do with Microsoft unless we're talking Xbox. However, the only way that these facts will begin to change is if Nokia makes us believe that iPhone is Justin Bieber and Android is a Rubik's Cube.

Mock Munksgaard's words if you must, but I think he knows exactly what he's doing.

If you want to follow the smartphone battle, track the latest developments by adding the players to MyWatchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.