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After struggling to bring its aging Symbian platform into the modern smartphone era, Nokia may very well consider moving to a third-party OS like Android or Windows Phone 7. But if it comes to that, European mobile carriers are hoping that the Finnish phone company stays away from Android, according to a report by the Financial Times.
Carriers like Vodafone, Telefonica and France Telecom are afraid of the growing iPhone and Android duopoly, the site reports. If Nokia decided to jump on Google’s mobile OS, it would significantly benefit Android in Europe and other international markets where Nokia is a big player.
The European carriers are instead hoping that Nokia finally begins the shift towards its MeeGo OS, which has been in the works for some time but has so far failed to make it to any phones. Failing that, a source from one major carrier believes, Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 would be better for competition in Europe.
Europe has generally been far more sensitive than America about concentrated market power, especially when it comes to American technology companies. Last year, Microsoft was forced to implement a browser choice screen for European users after the Norwegian browser maker Opera complained that Internet Explorer was anti-competitive. It’s not a huge surprise then to learn that European carriers are worried about the iPhone and Android ruling the market. If Nokia went with Windows Phone 7 instead, the Euro smartphone market will be more balanced in terms of platforms.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who came to the company from Microsoft, will announce his grand new strategy for the company in London on Friday. He’s expected to boot several executives and find new blood with expertise in software.
The company saw profits and market share dip last quarter, at which point Elop also said that Nokia needed to “build or join a competitive ecosystem.” That comment certainly made it seem like Elop would be open to adopting another platform — at least until MeeGo is ready for prime time.
We’ve been reporting for months now that Nokia may be considering a move to Windows Phone 7. When we first brought up the possibility, it seemed crazy that Nokia would ever shift from its reliance on homegrown software. But further reports seemed to indicate that the company was indeed looking towards Microsoft’s platform. Now with the European carriers afraid of Android, there’s even more reason to believe that Windows Phone 7 will be Nokia’s next major platform.
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