Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says he expects Nokia handsets running Windows to debut this quarter.
Nokia's first handsets that
run Microsoft's Windows mobile operating system are expected to launch this
quarter, according to remarks Nokia CEO Stephen Elop made at a technology
conference in Helsinki, Finland, where the company is based. Reuters reported
that Elop said it was clear to him that the market could support "an
alternative ecosystem" even as the company faces a rising challenge from
Google's Android OS and Apple's iPhone, the fifth edition of which is expected
to be released today.
Nokia will likely launch at
least one Windows-powered mobile device in October, though other devices could
come to market before the end of 2011. According to information suggested by
Microsoft Canada, the first Windows Phone devices could hit store shelves with
the names Sabre and Sea Ray (also spelled as Searay). The company, which has
been steadily losing market share to competitors, is still the world's largest
handset manufacturer by volume, and has admitted it is putting all its eggs in
one basket by abandoning its Symbian OS for Windows.
"When we launch Windows
Phones, we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business,
etc.," Chris Weber, president of Nokia, told AllThingsD
in an interview published Aug. 9. "It will be Windows
Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful
with Windows Phone, it doesn't matter what we do."
IT research firm IDC
expressed a similar sentiment in a recent research note, noting that Nokia had
little choice but to team up with Microsoft and was pinned in by a particular
strategy. "Nokia had to announce early its adoption of the Windows Phone
platform because it had to take important cost write-downs in R&D that
would have been impossible to hide," IDC analyst Al Hilwa wrote in a July 25
research note. "For one thing, the Symbian R&D albatross would have
continued to hobble Nokia's profitability and its ability to make change. For
another thing, the platform dithering and in-fighting would have continued and
leaked out anyway."
An August report from IT
research firm Gartner found Nokia rivals using Google Android-based operating
systems and Apple's iPhone have been putting continued pressure on Nokia's
market share. The Android platform ascended to take 43.4 percent of the market,
more than doubling its share from this time last year. Nokia came in second
with 22.1 percent, and Apple notched 18.1 percent. Nokia, once the dominant
smartphone maker, saw its Symbian market share slide to 22.1 percent from 40.9
percent in the year-ago quarter. The Finnish company sold 97.9 million mobile
devices in Q2.
Nokia also recently released
its first-and last-smartphone using the now-defunct MeeGo OS. The N9 offers
three home views via its touch-screen interface, including Applications, Events
and Live Applications, to enable users to navigate through the smartphone. One
of the N9's main selling features is users can swipe their fingers across the
3.9-inch active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) screen in order to navigate away
from an application. Plus, there is no home-screen button, which lends the
handset a sleek, futuristic look.