Some of Europe’s top mobile carriers are hoping that Nokia will rule out using Google’s Android smartphone operating system in any future devices.
In an article published on Monday by the Financial Times, sources indicate that several operators such as Vodafone, Telefónica and France Telecom are privately hoping that Nokia will provide an update on Meego on Friday to position it as a mass market alternative to Android and Apple’s iOS platform for the iPhone.
One executive at a large mobile operator said that Nokia should consider Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system if it felt compelled to use a third-party system. The move would improve competition in the smartphone market, something that operators are keen to see. Moconews points out that operators need multiple competitors in the marketplace to maintain a broad array of consumer choice.
Microsoft’s total U.S. smartphone platform market share dropped by 1.5 percentage points in December to 8.4% from 9.9% in September last year according to figures from comScore. Microsoft’s main rivals, Apple and Google, both improved their market share. Google’s Android operating system soared by 7.3 percentage points from 21.4% in September to 28.7% in December. Apple now accounts for 25% of U.S. smartphones. RIM still tops the chart with 31.6% market share, down 5.7 percentage points.
Rumors of a Nokia Windows Phone 7 partnership have been rife since Elop’s departure from Microsoft to Nokia in September, 2010. Speculation also began when it was reported that Nokia was in talks with Microsoftto look at offering Windows Phone 7 devices. The talks were kick started by Nokia’s new management. Stephen Elop, ex-Microsoft employee, joined Nokia last year as the company’s CEO. Elop admitted, during an earnings call last month, that Nokia needed to join a competitive ecosystem. “In addition to great device experiences, we must build, capitalize and/or join a competitive ecosystem,” said Elop.
Investment analyst, Adnaan Ahmad of Berenberg Bank, wrote to Microsoft and Nokia recently, urging them to partner for Windows Phone 7 handsets. Ahmad issued a note with his recommendations for Microsoft, asking for an exclusive deal with Nokia to improve its U.S. market share. Ahmad also recommends that Nokia pushes its Symbian solutions into the low-to-mid-range smartphone market “as quickly as possible”. WinRumors understands that both Elop and Ballmer have been discussing Windows Phone 7 devices for a number of months after Elop’s Microsoft departure. It’s unclear whether these talks have progressed into a full decision but one source claims that Nokia is ready to drop meego and adopt Windows Phone 7 as its high-endsmartphone operating system. The transition would not kill off Nokia’s Symbian range but simply re-align them as low and mid-range devices.
Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, is expected to unveil Nokia’s new company strategy on Friday February 11.