Technology giants Nokia and Microsoft are combining forces to create smartphones that might challenge rivals such as Apple and Google and revive their own fortunes in a market they have struggled to keep up with.
Nokia, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, said it plans to use Microsoft’s Windows Phone software as the main platform for its smartphones in an effort to pull market share away from Apple’s iPhone and Android, Google’s software for phones and tablets.
Nokia said it will help drive the future of Windows Phone “innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader”.
Moving increasingly to providing services for phone users, Nokia and Microsoft “will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale,” Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said in a statement.
“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Mr Elop said.
The announcement came just hours before Mr Elop was to address an analyst conference in London where the new Canadian CEO was expected to announce major changes for ailing Nokia that has seen market share plunge from a high of 41% in 2008 to 31% in the last quarter of 2010.
The Finnish firm is no longer the innovative trailblazer in a race where the iPhone has set the standard for today’s smartphones and Research In Motion’s BlackBerrys have become the favourite of the corporate set. More recently, Google’s Android software has emerged as the choice for phone makers that want to challenge the iPhone.