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Nokia ditches mass-market phone software

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Nokia? phone software? Meltemi? Android? IDC?

According to sources, the Nokia has scrapped a software project that the Finnish phone maker was putting its bets in to compete with Androidas a result of its extensive cost-cutting. The Linux-based software platform, code-named Meltemi, would replace its aging Series 40 software in more advanced feature phones.

Scrapping the platform means loss-making Nokia will risk losing its strong position in the mass-marketwhere phones are priced at $100 to $200. Nokia controlled more than 20 percent of this market in Q1, according to research firm IDC.

Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop flagged Meltemi in a leaked video in mid-2011, but Nokia has never officially confirmed Meltemi existed. It declined to comment on Thursday.

In June, Nokia said it would cut 10,000 jobsone in five staff in its phone businessas it aims to pull the company out of the red.

One of the sources, who works at a supplier, said the original plan was for the first feature phones using Meltemi should to be on the market by now.

Smartphones such as Apple's iPhone that offer a platform for third-party application developers, is where the industry's strongest growth is. But simpler feature phones, with limited support for third-party software, still account for most units sold.

Nokia's Series 40 platform is in about two billion cellphones, making it the most ubiquitous software in the market. But it lacks the smartphone-like experience Meltemi could have offered.

Google's Android platform has stormed the smartphone market in its first few years. Last quarter it was used in roughly 60 percent of all smartphones sold.

Nokia last year dumped its own smartphone software platforms in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone, which has so far had a limited impact, in part due to the high prices of phones using it.

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