Nokia and Microsoft have just announced their partnership, Nokia will be using WP7 as its primary smartphone strategy. What happens to Symbian? Nokia says they plan to ship a 150 million more Symbian devices. What happens to MeeGo? It looks like its on the back burner now, barely hanging in there. ‘MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year‘.
Qt will continue to be the development framework for Symbian and Nokia will use Symbian for further devices; continuing to develop strategic applications in Qt for Symbian platform and encouraging application developers to do the same. With 200 million users worldwide and Nokia planning to sell around 150 million more Symbian devices, Symbian still offers unparalleled geographical scale for developers.
Extending the scope of Qt further will be our first MeeGo-related open source device, which we plan to ship later this year. Though our plans for MeeGo have been adapted in light of our planned partnership with Microsoft, that device will be compatible with applications developed within the Qt framework and so give Qt developers a further device to target. If you are a developer read this, open letter.
Nokia also has a new leadership team, Stephen Elop, Esko Aho, Juha Akras, Jerri DeVard, Colin Giles, Rich Green, Jo Harlow, Timo Ihamuotila, Mary McDowell, Kai Oistamo, Tero Ojanpera, Louise Pentland and Niklas Savander.
They also have a new company structure:
As of April 1, Nokia will have a new company structure, which features two distinct business units: Smart Devices and Mobile Phones. They will focus on Nokia’s key business areas: high-end smartphones and mass-market mobile phones. Each unit will have profit-and-loss responsibility and end-to-end accountability for the full consumer experience, including product development, product management and product marketing.
Smart Devices will be responsible for building Nokia’s leadership in smartphones and will be led by Jo Harlow. The following sub-units now in Mobile Solutions will move under Smart Devices:
– Symbian Smartphones
– MeeGo Computers
– Strategic Business Operations
To support the planned new partnership with Microsoft, Smart Devices will be responsible for creating a winning Windows Phone portfolio.
The key message Nokia and Microsoft are sending out is that Nokia will not be just another OEM, but will infact drive Windows Phone 7 and define it. You can find the joint announcement on Nokia’s official blog. The key points they highlighted are below.
– Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
– Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
– Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
– Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
– Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience
– Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
– Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
– Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.
Expect more thoughts on this move in some time, once things settle down a bit.