Rumors have Nokia jumping on Windows Phone 7

Nokia N8

It’s no secret that, while it remains the world’s largest mobile handset maker, Finland’s Nokia has been struggling to find its feet in the smartphone market. Now the company is even starting to lose share amongst feature phones in developing markets. Nokia has made serious changes in its executive leadership, bringing in Canadian (and former Microsoft exec) Stephen Elop as its first non-Finnish CEO, but so far the company is still seeing its revenue and profits decline while the likes of the iPhone and Android define the profitable edge of the world’s mobile phone market.

However, in recent days Nokia’s shares have actually been rising on speculation that Nokia will announce a partnership with Microsoft to develop devices for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system. Although industry watchers have been wondering about such a deal since Microsoft’s Elop took over the reins at Nokia, the idea was given further impetus when analyst Adnaan Ahmad of Hamburg’s Berenberg Bank urged, in an open letter (PDF) published by The Financial Times, that Nokia abandon its Symbian operating system and ink and exclusive deal with Microsoft to make Windows Phone 7 devices.

Adnaan also urges Nokia to ditch MeeGo, its open source mobile and embedded operating system that it has co-developed with Intel, describing it as “biggest joke in the tech industry right now.” Nokia is widely expected to unveil its first MeeGo devices this month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Both Microsoft and Nokia have declined to comment on the open letter. Some industry watchers think a conversion to Windows Phone 7 would be the kind of bold move that might just be able to put Nokia back on the smartphone map, particularly in the North American market. However, many also note such a move would be unprecedented for Nokia, which, like Apple, has historically preferred to control as many aspects of its business as possible.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop may have indirectly fueled speculation during comments to analysts at the end of January, when he indicated the company planned to set separate strategies for low-, mid-, and high-end phone businesses, and that Nokia was willing to “create and/or join other ecosystems.” Some analysts interpreted that as Nokia potentially considering making devices using Google’s Android operating system.

However, partnering with Microsoft would be a risky move for Nokia: if there’s another company that’s had as much difficulty finding success in the smartphone market as Nokia, it may be Microsoft: Windows Phone 7 is apparently still being outsold by the long-moribund Windows Mobile 6.5.

Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Computing

Windows 7 is still immensely popular. Is it really better than Windows 10?

With the end of support of Windows 7 approaching, have you been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10? In this guide, we give look at some of the biggest differences between the most popular operating systems.
Mobile

The Moto G4 Plus is finally getting the update to Android Oreo

We've reached out to every major Android hardware manufacturer and asked them when they will update their devices to the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo.
Mobile

Moto G7 Play vs. Nokia 3.1 Plus: Two budget veterans slug it out

The Moto G7 Play is the new super-budget superstar on the block, with a new processor, compact design, and fresh features. But can it take down the Cricket-exclusive Nokia 3.1 Plus? We compared the two to find out.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.