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Device will be seen at Nokia World next week

The smartphone market is very hot right now with some of the most popular devices selling very well despite the poor economy. Nokia is struggling to compete in the high-end market and is looking to a new operating system to help it get ahead of the competition.

Reuters reports that Nokia will try to fight Apple and RIM in the high-end market by unveiling a new device that runs on the Maemo flavor of Linux. Nokia is expected to debut its first Maemo-powered device at Nokia World in Germany next week. Nokia isn’t new to Linux as an operating system and has offered versions of Linux on its internet tablets before, but so far, Nokia devices with Linux haven't hit a chord with consumers.

Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said, "It looks like Maemo, or at least a Linux derivative of some description, will play a key role for Nokia in high-end (products) over the next year or two."

Nokia points out that it will not be abandoning Symbian, its OS of choice for smartphones and other devices. It will be moving Symbian extensively into the lower end of the handset market and high-end devices will presumably rely on Maemo. Maemo will be a direct competitor to Windows Mobile as well. Microsoft and Nokia recently announced an agreement that will see Symbian devices get support for Microsoft Office.

Nokia is fighting to gain its market share back as its hold on the mobile phone market is eroding at faster than the industry average. The firm has seen its share of the handset market for phones over $350 decline to 13% this year from 33% two years ago.

Nokia's Kai Oistamo told Reuters, "Maemo is taking the desktop Linux environment and making it mobile. We have proven it really can be made, you can take desktop Linux and make it work on mobile."





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