Nokia has let slip that it plans to drop Symbian for its top-end smartphone range while Google is apparently prepping an Android phone all of its own. Ian Scales reports.
Naturally the Google phone story is thriving in the 'no comment' vacuum it traditionally reserves for future product announcements. The rumour mill says the phone is going to be some sort of up-market stunner and the idea of Google going it alone to produce (or rather contract a manufacturer to produce) a phone is certainly feasible and has its attractions as a strategy.
Google's position on the Google-led Open Handset Alliance which promotes Android, theoretically doesn't rule it out of building an Android phone itself - the more manufacturers the merrier.
So why would it? The power of Google's brand could be enough motivation. Why not produce an up-market Android that sets a gold standard using the Google brand and sell it direct at the top of the market - a sort of upmarket challenge to theiPhone, if you like.
Other theories mooted to explain Google's move (if it IS making a move) include providing a mobile device spearhead for WiMAX. Over on MoCoNews they reckon: "Google is an investor in Clearwire which is building a nationwide 4G wireless broadband network. Google could embed a mobile WiMax chipset into the phone, which would connect to Clearwire’s network.
When the user leaves the Clearwire territory, it could roam on to Sprint’s CDMA network, which is Clearwire’s majority owner."
via MoCoNews "If Google Does Build A Phone, What Network Will It Run On?
Meanwhile our friends at The Really Mobile Project have been out and about listening to Nokia's Tanja Sauvola from its Maemo marketing team. Maemo is Nokia's 'mobile Internet device' OS and Tanja seems to have revealed to assembled bloggers "that Nokia plan to drop Symbian from the entire ‘top end’ N-Series range of handsets in favour of Maemo by 2012."
via The Really Mobile Project, 'Nokia dropping Symbian from N-Series by 2012'
This news probably doesn't surprise anyone who has used a Symbian phone and switched to Android or the iPhone recently. The 'user experience' (as the current terminology has it) has been so improved on the new touchphones that it's difficult to believe that Symbian could possibly hold on to its current 50 per cent smartphone market share - unless some UI improvements to the system arrive pronto.
Maemo, on the other hand, has been getting plaudits as the Linux-based OS powering Nokia's N900 device.
More Android news: Chinese vendor ZTE plans to launch an Android smartphone in conjunction with the likes of Vodafone, Verizon Wireless, Orange and T-Mobile.
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