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
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."