Nokia Picks Qualcomm For Chips in Future Windows Phone Handsets

By Tracey E. Schelmetic May 20, 2011

The mobile phone industry has been watching Nokia as of late. Not only to catch the latest fumbles of the troubled phone giant, but to see which companies it chooses to help construct its new phones while it reinvents itself utterly. The Finnish company announced on Friday that it was negotiating with several chipset suppliers for its future Windows Phone models after deciding to use Qualcomm in its first smartphones using Microsoft's software. Nokia, of course, announced in February it would use Microsoft's Windows Phone software in most of its future smartphones. (Some lower-end phones will still use Nokia's old Symbian platform, at least for a while.)

Microsoft Windows Phone operating system (OS) is available only on Qualcomm's chips, but the U.S. software giant has said it was expanding the supplier base, reported Reuters today.

“The first Nokias based on Windows Phone will have the Qualcomm chipset,” said a Nokia spokesman.

“Our aim is to build a vibrant ecosystem around Nokia and the Windows Phone OS and with that intent we are naturally continuing discussions with a number of chipset suppliers for our future product portfolio,” noted the spokesman.

Nokia hinted that one of the companies involved in the talks was ST-Ericsson.

ST-Microelectronics CEO Carlo Bozotti told Forbes that at least some of Nokia's Windows Phone gadgets will run on ST-Ericsson silicon.

Forbes recently reported that Nokia plans to release 12 Windows Phone devices during 2012, a piece of intelligence that a Nokia spokeswoman declined to confirm with FierceWireless when it asked.

ST's former wireless business was a key Nokia supplier before it was merged into ST-Ericsson in 2009. The design win with Nokia would be a major victory for ST-Ericsson, which reported a 33 percent drop in revenue for the first quarter along with a $179 million loss, said FierceWireless.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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