So Stephen Elop has taken the plunge. The chief executive of Nokia has just announced a “broad strategic” tie-up with Microsoft on phones and said it would make Windows its main smartphone operating system.
It’s a bold move for the Canadian and investors haven’t greeted the news that well. Shares were down as much 12 per cent in early morning trade.
Nokia‘s latest restructuring, announced yesterday, is just one aspect of its many-fronted smartphone war.
As Nokia’s senior vice president of design and user experience, Marko Ahtisaari is the man charged with leading the software and hardware designers who must craft the challenger to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices that the Finns have so far lacked.
Nokia and Symbian appear to have finally come up with a respectable response to smartphone competition from Apple and Android in the shape of the N8, announced on Tuesday.
The handset is the first to adopt Symbian’s latest ^3 operating system and will be available in the third quarter in “select markets”.
The biggest losers in Admob’s latest survey of smartphone usage, released on Thursday, were Symbian operating system phones, with their share falling from 43 per cent to 18 per cent over the past year as iPhone and Android traffic boomed.
But don’t write off Symbian just yet. Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation, gave a glimpse of two forthcoming revamps that could revive its fortunes when he visited us en route to the CTIA show in Las Vegas.
It’s easy to forget about Microsoft’s mobile phone efforts, given the buzz around Apple’s iPhone and the growing number of slick smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system.
But Windows Mobile is likely to grab back some of the limelight next week with the introduction of new phones based on its 6.5 operating system at an event in New York, along with the launch of its Skymarket “app store.”
And, as the iSuppli research firm says in a new forecast, “Reports of Windows Mobile’s death are greatly exaggerated.”
The news from the Symbian smartphone show in the UK was that Lee Williams (pictured) was announced as the new head of the Symbian Foundation, the provider of the mobile software platform supported by many industry players.
But the recent annoucement of iPhone App store rivals by RIM and Google makes the European side of the mobile platform market seem a little behind the curve. While the US is making a marketplace for developers, questions over the Foundation’s independence are still being raised.