Verizon CTO says he doesn’t ‘need’ a Nokia Windows Phone

By Tom Warren, on 15th Feb 11 11:23 pm with 7 Comments

Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone has gone on record to say he doesn’t believe the company “needs” the Nokia Windows Phone relationship.

Melone spoke to Cnet’s Marguerite Reardon at Mobile World Congress this week and expressed his dismay at Microsoft’s claim to being the third strong mobile ecosystem. “I do want a strong third OS out there,” Melone said. “It gives the carriers more flexibility and balances the interests of all the parties. But I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction they are hoping for with Windows Phone 7.”

“I don’t think Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship,” he said. “Right now the three OS players we see for our network are Android, Apple, and RIM. “ Melone’s comments come at a time when Verizon are on the horizon of shipping their first CDMA Windows Phone 7 device. Microsoft’s first platform update, codenamed “NoDo”, is due to ship within the first two weeks of March the company said on Monday. The update includes CDMA support for U.S. providers Sprint and Verizon. Microsoft and its CDMA operators are still claiming devices will go on sale in “the first half” of 2011 despite the update.

Melone appears to back HP’s WebOS over Microsoft’s Windows Phone. “If HP decides to license WebOS that could also become a third or fourth player that is used by OEMs,” he said. “I’m more optimistic with WebOS developing into a strong player, just based on the strength of the OS. It has some very unique and good characteristics.”

Greg Sullivan, Windows Phone 7 group product manager, refused to speak specifically regarding Verizon’s comments on Microsoft’s platform but said the software giant is working to change the carrier’s perception. “We want to change that opinion,” he said, “There are things we hope to do in terms of responsiveness to get more developer support. And we want to enable mobile operators to do things that bolster their brands and create more opportunities for them.”

Verizon is currently planning to unveil its Windows Phone 7 offerings in the coming months. Verizon will offer the HTC 7 Trophy at $199.99 according to leaked promotional material aimed at Microsoft employees. Sprint will also unveil the HTC 7 Pro as its CDMA device. The device has previously passed through the FCC in late October.

  • GP007

    Oh god, Verizon has google and apple so far up their rear they’re starting to like it too much it seems.

    • Olisaebuka Maduka

      Exactly, it seems the carriers are anti-microsoft. I expect from his statements they wont even bother to push wp7 sales, it’s very sad indeed. On the bright side, I know that wp7 will do very well and become a runaway success especially with nokia onboard, just hope sprint will be wiser than this.

  • Andrew N

    Same root of the issue — something even google and apple can’t break: the cell providers are too powerful.

    Microsoft’s Kin was horrible because the provider decided to jack it on an expensive data plan. Google wanted to sell directly, only to be told no thanks by major providers. RIM gets pushed aside because they want to push a branded “Droid”

    Providers can jack up prices on plans and require lock ins, because the cost of entry for a competitor is way too high.

    • GP007

      Ya, I agree but in this case MS could have more success because of their growing retail stores (apple sells way more iPhones through it’s retail I bet than from any AT&T shop etc), and the online MS store as well.

      MS needs to push it’s own retail chains harder, like best buy etc, and if they bring out lower priced phones with the Nokia deal like they said then screw verizon, people will just buy the phone unlocked if the price is right without any plan tied to it.

    • Andrew N

      While I agree they need to push other retail venues (and their own stores), I don’t see people buying unlocked phones and then paying the same price for wireless plans. The phone companies have a lock on this one, even Google found that out.

  • Steve Lithgow

    Well rumor is Sprint will announce Pro around time of nodo update.. according to one of the Chevron devs… so I think Sprint will be fine.. so long the WP7 moves some units.. VZW.. what a idiot that CTO is.. he makes some of dumbest predictions.. he said the same about iphone. Now look?

    If I’m on the board of directors…. he’s looking for a new job. Nuf said.. say stupid stuff like that… not very bright you ask me..

  • Manish

    Who cares. There is a big world out of USA and many big carriers out of USA even bigger then Verizon. Carriers in India and China are even bigger or at least at par.