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The WP7 marketplace ramp-up compared to the iPhone app store (red line).  (Source: WP7Applist.com)
Nokia and Microsoft have had discussions about possible WP7-based Nokia device

In his weekly op-ed, mobile godhead Eldar Murtazin announced that Nokia has been in talks with Microsoft to possibly develop a device based on the Windows Phone 7 operating system.

"This two way dialogue was initiated by new Nokia management," Murtazin writes. "It's a desperate measure for both companies. This is their only solution to stop an all conquering Android."

Nokia's tribulations have been well-documented here on DT [1] [2] [3]. And while Nokia has not commented on the alleged discussions with Microsoft, it seems particularly plausible considering Nokia's new CEO is a former Microsoft exec.

A Windows Phone-based device must sound even more enticing to Nokia, amid reports that the Windows Phone marketplace is ramping up faster than Android did after first launching, and is holding its own against even the Apple store.

"The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace reaching 4,000 apps two months after launch has to be one of the most rapid ramp-ups in recent times, reaching this milestone faster than Android, which took from October 2008 to March 2009 to reach about the same level," Al Hilwa, an analyst with research firm IDC, wrote in a research note.

"We can say that for a company that just a few months ago was an also-ran in mobile, having 10 smartphones released in 30 countries is not a trivial achievement," Hilwa wrote. "I would not be surprised if Microsoft had the third largest app portfolio in the industry by the middle of next year."

With so many reviews and news reports writing off Windows Phone because of a lack of apps, the analysis is encouraging for Microsoft. And even if sales U.S. sales figures can't match that of the iPhone, international reports say WP7 is selling well in Europe and Asia, according to EWeek. But Microsoft is also in a position that allows itself to lose money on a product initially, if adoption is slow. 

"No one expected WP7 to take the market by a storm, but the role of the first release was to [put] Microsoft in the game. To be clear this is a long term battle that will be pivotal for Microsoft’s long-term relevance," Hilwa wrote.




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