Shocker: Nokia officially adopts Windows Phone as its “primary smartphone platform”
While I did expect Nokia and Microsoft to unveil some sort of Windows Phone-related partnership, I didn’t expect to hear this: Nokia has just announced that Windows Phone would be its “primary smartphone platform.”
That’s right, the giant Finnish company has pretty much acknowledged that neither Symbian, nor MeeGo will save it from losing market share to Android, iPhone and BlackBerry.
What will happen to Symbian and MeeGo? Well, Nokia says the following:
“Symbian becomes a franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value. This strategy recognizes the opportunity to retain and transition the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come.”
So, while we’ll still have new Symbian smartphones, it looks like it will only take a few years until Nokia stops producing them altogether.
As for MeeGo, here’s Nokia’s official statement:
“Under the new strategy, MeeGo becomes an open-source, mobile operating system project. MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year.”
Yes, you read that well: “a MeeGo-related product.” Just one. And Nokia’s not even certain it will ship it – it only plans to do so, and we all know plans can easily go bye-bye at times. So, as I said at the beginning of this year, MeeGo won’t mean much to Nokia, and neither to the smartphone market. Not in the foreseeable future anyway.
Nokia did not say when its first Windows Phone handset would be released.
Interestingly, Nokia refers to Microsoft’s mobile OS as “Windows Phone”, not Windows Phone 7. Why is that? Well, the two companies may want to make a special version of WP, tailored for Nokia devices only. But that’s just a wild guess.
Other really interesting details:
- Nokia’s content and application store (aka Ovi Store) “will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience”
- Microsoft Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services
- Nokia Maps will become “a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services”
Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop (ex-Microsoft man himself) on stage with Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer
Nokia has also announced changes in company structure. As of April 2011, Nokia will have two distinct business units: Smart Devices (lead by Jo Harlow and including all smartphone-related activities – Windows Phone, Symbian, MeeGo) , and Mobile Phones (led by Mary McDowell and including all featurephone-related activities).
It’s early to say whether or not this Nokia-Microsoft partnership will be successful. Let’s wait and see how things go and what the first Nokia Windows Phone handset will be like. Until then, my only question now is: isn’t all this freakin’ unbelievable?