Last year, on the 11th of February to be precise, Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, got up on a stage in London and told the world that the Finnish handset maker was going to throw Symbian under the bus, kill off MeeGo, and bet the future on Microsoft’s Windows Phone. It’s been almost 13 months since that speech was given and in that time we’ve seen the Nokia Lumia 800 come out in Europe and Asia, the Lumia 710 come out in Europe and Asia and North America, and there are many Nokia fans out there who are excited about the upcoming release of the 4.3 inch Lumia 900 and the budget friendly Lumia 610. But forget about all that for a minute. Most of Nokia’s volumes, and more than half of their device revenues, come from feature phones. Yes, those dinky little handsets that are all the rage in places like India, Brazil, and countries where an iPhone costs what a man makes in roughly four to six months.
Recently Nokia announced that they’ve sold over 1.5 billion feature phones running S40, which is an OS that was developed in-house and hasn’t been licensed to any other company. Back in September 2011 we saw a report from The Wall Street Journal that said Nokia was in the process of building a new Linux based OS for low end devices called Meltemi. It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about that OS … until today that is. According to sources who have spoken to Retuers, Meltemi exists and it’s being made to replace S40. We may even see it as early as this year.
Curiously, back in January we filed a report about a purchase Nokia made. They picked up a Norwegian company called “Smarterphone”, their speciality being making an OS for feature phones that cost under $75. Why buy “Smarterphone” while Meltemi is concurrently being developed?
Hopefully we’ll find out over the coming months.