Nokia planning just one Maemo phone in 2010

Nokia plans to introduce only one Maemo-based smartphone in the year ahead, Reuters reports. "The potential of Linux computer operating system is in the high-end, and we have not yet fully harnessed that," Nokia's head of Maemo Ari Jaaksi said. In the meantime, Nokia will work on updating Maemo in 2010, integrating the Qt cross-platform application development framework while continuing to focus its smartphone efforts on the Symbian OS. "Launching just one Maemo model in the whole of 2010 need not be a problem if Nokia can develop an iPhone killer with standout design and superior usability," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston tells Reuters."The Symbian operating system will receive some upgrades over the next six to 18 months, so Nokia could well choose to focus on that critical task."

Nokia recently refuted reports it would phase out Symbian, with Maemo devices dominating its flagship N900 lineup by 2012. "We'd like to explicitly communicate that we remain firmly committed to Symbian as our smartphone platform of choice," Nokia said, calling any speculation on its 2012 product and OS plans "completely premature. As we have stated earlier, Nokia has multiple platforms to serve different purposes and address different markets. Symbian is more successful than ever in bringing smartphones to the masses. Maemo is our software of choice for devices based on technology that you'd typically find inside a desktop computer. It delivers a different user experience and enables us to widen the market we can address."

In related damage-control news, Nokia said it has no plans to sell its handset manufacturing unit, dismissing speculation that followed a recent interview with marketing head Anssi Vanjoki. After Vanjoki told German magazine Wirtschaftswoche one should "never say never" in response to questions whether Nokia's transformation into a service provider could necessitate the company sell off its manufacturing plants, Vanjoki issued a statement reading "Our logistics and manufacturing are an important competitive advantage, and a core part of Nokia's business ... We have no plans to change this business model."

For more on Nokia's Maemo outlook:
- read this Reuters article

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