Nokia has been quick to position its tie-up with Microsoft as the tie-breaker in what some analysts already consider a two-horse race between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android smartphone platforms.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said yesterday that Google’s £7.4bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility revealed the importance to the market of a third option.
But Elop may be exaggerating Nokia’s power to make a convincing difference in the smartphone market. There are more than 425,000 apps for the iPhone, and over 250,000 for Android. Elop told Reuters Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 has around 30,000.
This may change over the next six to 12 months. Nokia will introduce its first Windows-based phones, codenamed Mango, in Q4 2011. This would contain the first upgrades to WP7, according to Mark Squires, Nokia UK’s communications director.
Squires said this will be an interim step before Nokia and Microsoft bring out 'Mobile 8'. The Mobile 8 devices, which should come to market in the first half of 2012, will be based on Windows with enhancements from Nokia that include better camera and map support, he told Mobile.
He declined to say whether earlier Nokia announcements such as 'augmented reality' would feature in the new models. He added that more of the company's strategy would be revealed at its main product roadshow, Nokia World, in London in October.