Nokia hints at OS strategy

11 Aug 2011

I find it hard not to join the dots in reports about Nokia’s mobile operating system plans over the past 24 hours.

On the one hand, you have news the firm is ditching its Symbian-based handsets in North America – including mid-tier devices running variants of its smartphone operating system. The flip side is a story about the vendor deploying a ‘lite’ version of Microsoft’s smartphone OS in its feature phones.

It seems too much of a coincidence that these stories should surface so close to one another.

If two plus two actually adds up to four in this case, it suggests that Nokia plans to throw its lot in with Microsoft in the Asia Pacific feature phone market, while leaving its current range of Symbian-based mid-tier units on sale in Europe (and likely the Middle East and Africa too).

North America will become exclusively a Microsoft affair in all device segments, as Nokia looks to cash-in on the software giant’s stronger reputation in that market.

The good news for Microsoft is that the commitments don’t end there. Other reports this morning suggest Motorola could back-track on a previous decision to sell only Android smartphones and start producing a range of Windows Phone 7 units.

It’s a strategy that makes sense for Motorola, as it seeks to re-establish itself in the global handset market. Diversifying its platform strategy would boost the vendor’s exposure in a market fast becoming dominated by Android devices, and allow it to cover all bases in terms of software and apps.

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