Report: Nokia to lean on Linux in smartphone battle

Phil Goldstein
27 Aug 2009

Nokia is going to use the Linux-based Maemo operating system to compete in the high-end of the smartphone market, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources.

The move would signal a shift by Nokia away from solely using its Symbian platform as it looks to take on both Apple and Research In Motion in the competitive smartphone market. Booklet, its first netbook, released earlier this week, uses the Windows Mobile OS.

The company will unveil its first high-end Maemo phone at its Nokia World event next week. Nokia declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Nokia has relied on the Symbian OS as its standard OS in the smartphone world, where Nokia is the global leader by market share (Symbian commanded 45% of the global smartphone OS market in the second quarter, according to Strategy Analytics).

In the past, Nokia has used Linux in its Internet Tablet devices. However, analysts predicted the handset maker would move Linux into its future high-end smartphones, something that could yield advantages for the company.

“Maemo is clearly far more flexible than Symbian, so it's a better option for advanced devices using various display technologies and rapidly evolving user-interface software,” Tero Kuittinen from MKM Partners told Reuters.

Earlier this week, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said that in addition to building up its Ovi-branded services business, Nokia would continue to remain competitive in the smartphone space.

“We are competitive in the marketplace right now as we speak, and we will make efforts to be even more competitive going forward,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times.





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