Although Qualcomm is sitting comfortably with Microsoft and Windows Phone, it looks like their monopoly on the OS has finally given in. Today, ST-Ericsson has announced a deal with Nokia to supply low-end chipsets for upcoming Windows Phones. The deal both confirms and contradicts and earlier report about Microsoft's plans, though it does reinforce earlier rumors of a Nokia-ST Ericsson alliance.
So far, Qualcomm's chipsets, while diverse and flexible in design, have only been used in "high end" phones. Microsoft and especially Nokia though have been keen on cracking the low end market found in developing/emerging countries and ST-Ericsson will reportedly help in that area. STMicro's shares were up 4% and Ericsson's was up by 2% as of the news. From ST-Ericsson:
"We are pleased to have been selected by Nokia as a key partner for Windows smartphones, in line with our goal to be present in all segments and major operating systems," said Gilles Delfassy, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson. "Our NovaThor platforms continue to gain traction as they enable customers to bring great smartphones to the market."
This is an early breaking story so we expect more details soon. The current Lumia devices (710 and 800) both use Qualcomm chipsets and that's expected to stay the same.
One downside of the Novathor system is currently it does not support LTE 4G, which knocks it out of the "high end" for US markets for now. We should also caution that just because a chipset can do something, doesn't mean it will used.
- Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported
- (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4)
- High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to WXGA
- Simultaneous dual display support up to dual XGA
- High performance 3D graphics
- Dual camera support with Integrated ISP 20 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM enabled platform
- Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out
- Support for multiple operating systems
- Optional support for mobile TV standards
- Highly efficient, low-power ARM dual Cortex™- A9 processor
- Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
- High-bandwidth LP-DDR2 interface
- ARM® Mali™ 400 GPU and NEON®CPU extensions
- State-of-the-art HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) Release 7 modem
- Unique audio architecture with a wide range of audio codecs supported
- Advanced power saving architecture enabling class-leading audio and video playback times