November 30, 2009

Nokia To Release Linux-Based Phone Next Year

Finnish cell phone maker Nokia is reportedly planning development of a single new Linux-based smartphone next year.

A source told Reuters on Monday that Nokia has plans to unveil a new smartphone that would run on the Linux Maemo mobile operating system. The announcement may be troubling to some analysts who expected the firm to launch several Linux smartphones in an effort to outshine the competitors in Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's Blackberry.

The first Nokia phone to use Linux's operating system is the N900 model, which hit stores earlier this month.

"This is not necessarily worrying, but they need a hit product. It has to be a winning one and Nokia needs to continue to work on Symbian in the meantime," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi told Reuters.

Some analysts believed the company would replace its Symbian operating system with Linux models.

"Launching just one Maemo model in the whole of 2010 need not be a problem if Nokia can develop an iPhone killer with standout design and superior usability," said analyst Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics.

"The Symbian operating system will receive some upgrades over the next 6 to 18 months, so Nokia could well choose to focus on that critical task," he told Reuters.

"We remain firmly committed to Symbian as our smartphone platform of choice," said one Nokia spokesman.

Additionally, Nokia's head of marketing, Anssi Vanjoki, said the firm had no plans to shut down any of its manufacturing plants.

"Our logistics and manufacturing are an important competitive advantage, and a core part of Nokia's business ... We have no plans to change this business model," Vanjoki said on Monday in a statement.


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