Nokia to use Windows Phone 7? We're skeptical.

The world is aflutter today (and journalism has taken a back seat) with the unsubstantiated rumor that Nokia, under leadership of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who used to work with Microsoft, is in secret talks to work with Microsoft on releasing some Windows Phones. The rumor comes from Eldar Murtazin, who has attained near celebrity status with his rumor posts, despite the mediocre track record. In a post he writes (translated):

In the last month behind closed doors is a discussion of expanded cooperation Nokia and Microsoft (two-way discussion, initiated by the new leadership of Nokia). Not simply the exchange of technology, but creating an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia, through the sales channels for the company, and will also have the characteristic features of its products. This is a desperate measure of the two companies. The last step for the salvation of Android, which crushes everything in its path.

Nokia has very recently denied such future moves, instead reaffirrming their committment to Symbian and MeeGo OS, yet the rumor persists, perhaps out of wishful thinking. It is certainly possible that Nokia may release a secondary line of phones with WP7 on board--heck, Palm did the same years ago till they got back on their feet (to fall on their face again)--but we're not holding our breath on this one. For one, there is no secondary source that comes even close to backing this up and number two, financially it doesn't make much sense (see summary at ZDNet).

But we'll leave the possibility open. We're just not that confident in the idea. Even if Nokia does go forward with a Windows Phone line, so what? Has Nokia hardware (in absence of their OS) been anything truly remarkable? Or has HTC, Samsung and Apple grabbed the spotlight with hardware innovation and unique design? Call us cynical, but we're going with the latter. If Nokia and Microsoft hatch out a plan though, it will only help Windows Phone presence in the market.  That is something we could live with, even if we are skeptical of the whole idea.

Source: Mobile-review; via ZDNet

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • If a few key things happen then Nokia will use WP7 at some point in the future. It's quite simple, if WP7 sales are solid and show good growth and if Nokia keeps going nowhere marketshare wise except in the EU where they're still #1 (for now) then I see it as a given. Face it, Nokia is nowhere market wise in the US, so it's a win for both parties for this sorta deal to happen, Nokia can get a better position in the US through WP7 and MS's marketing blitz. Likewise MS gains a good foothold into the EU through the strong Nokia brand.
  • I don't see Nokia making any big decisions such as this until after it sees how MeeGo is received. If MeeGo sees widespread global acceptance, even if it's not big in the US, I don't see Nokia using any other operating system. But even if Nokia does go elsewhere, I'm curious as to why you think it would use WP7 instead of Android. Other than Elop coming from Microsoft, there's precious little reason why that option makes sense.
  • Because WP7 has MS doing all the dirty work for you? Running and supporting android while possible is no different than running and supporting Symbian^3 from Nokias point of view. It's still cheaper to license out an OS and slap it on your hardware than it is to make your own or even support something out there, MeeGo is no different from Android in the sense that it's *nix based as well but ya, do you honestly see that going anywhere? It's like webOS over at HP, devs out there don't seem to care really.
  • i take it you couldn't access your post on WMPU either? ;)
    You could replace WP7 with Android and realize it still hasn't come to fruition. Nokia's not going to remove themselves from the low end cellphone market which is their bread and butter, especially when it would mean supporting a competitor so intimately. Licensing from MS when they've been calling the shots for so long would be like moving back into your parent's house as an adult. Of course, anything's possible...And come on, it's Eldar. Nokia must've been giving it to his girlfriend or something for the hate he gives them.
  • I don't get why you think Nokia has to give up the low end if it uses some one elses OS in the process. Their low end dumb phones and their higher end smartphones don't need to use or share the same OS at all, and they actually don't unless you think older Symbian and Symbian^3 are the same. The fact is Symbian is going no where, smartphones are going to overtake dumbphones, nokias bread and butter if you will, and they'll be left out in the cold unless they make the shift to something else. MeeGo isn't going to GO anywhere either, Nokia might as well just be making BadaOS like Samsung and praying for someone to give it the time of day.
  • "Has Nokia hardware (in absence of their OS) been anything truly remarkable? Or has HTC, Samsung and Apple grabbed the spotlight with hardware innovation and unique design?"
    -- Are the answers to these questions supposed to be mutually exclusive? Because I would argue that the answers are "yes" and "yes."
  • Love the unicorn, Mal.
  • Isnt that a Pony Puff Princess?
  • lol, had to sneak it in there
  • a N8 (or the upcoming X7) with WP7 would kill the iPhone and t he iPod Touch HD...just imagine
  • What if Nokia built a Window Phone 7 devices for Microsoft and the only brand it had on it was Microsoft , or Xbox live and Zune as Microsoft never actually makes their own hardware it is always specced and made by someone eles.