July 27, 2012
Nokia’s Android OS Competitor Meltemi Reportedly Canned
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Nokia has quietly canned the Linux-based software platform that they had been developing in order to compete with Android, sources familiar with the Finnish cellphone manufacturer's plans told Reuters on Thursday.
According to reporter Tarmo Virki of the international news agency, a trio of reporters with "direct knowledge" of Nokia's inner workings are claiming that the operating system, which had been code-named Meltemi, had been scrapped in order to help cut costs. Meltemi was to replace Nokia's Series 40 platform in higher-end feature phones, i.e. those somewhere in between basic, bare-bones products and top-of-the-line smartphones, Virki said.
Rumors that work on Nokia's answer to Google's Android OS would be halted first originated last month, according to Slashgear's Elise Moreau, and Thursday's reports confirmed those reports, which come as a larger cost-cutting strategy that also involves the layoffs of 10,000 employees. Meltemi had been announced back a little under a year ago, Moreau said, and was intended to compete against "lower-end Android smartphones."
The software platform was initially mentioned by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in September 2011, Lee Kaelin of TechSpot explained, but since then it had "never been confirmed publicly." One source, who apparently works for a supplier, told TechSpot that the first devices running on the new operating system should have already hit the market.
"The move places Nokia in a precarious position, and at risk of losing further ground in the phone market, especially with the mixed success following its decision to use Windows Phone as its primary mobile OS," Kaelin said. "Despite favorable reviews, the Lumia handsets have struggled to compete against established platforms such as Android and iOS. Revelations such as the recent news that its flagship Lumia 900 will not get the upgrade to WP8 later this year has done little to help, despite being launched just a few short months ago."
"The company is having an increasingly difficult time selling devices and it recently reported a whopping $1 billion loss during the second quarter. It's possible that Nokia ditched Meltemi simply to save its much-needed cash," added CNET's Don Reisinger. "That said, it's important to note that Nokia never confirmed that Meltemi even existed, and the company has stayed tight-lipped on any questions inquiring about a Series 40 replacement. So, if it did, in fact, kill Meltemi, Nokia won't have much explaining to do."