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Nokia picks ST-Ericsson for Windows Phone chips

Qualcomm loses its monopoly
Wed Nov 02 2011, 14:44

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia has selected ST-Ericsson as its chip supplier for Windows Phone 7.5 (WP7.5) devices, effectively dumping its previous supplier Qualcomm that had enjoyed a monopoly on providing chips for phones running Microsoft's mobile operating system.

Nokia will employ ST-Ericsson's Novathor range of chips in its upcoming Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones. Novathor is a relatively new entry into the smartphone market, with its first use seen in the HTC Sensation Z710t in September.

Qualcomm's popular Snapdragon processors, which are used by a number of Android smartphone makers, were used in Nokia's Lumia range, its first Windows Phone 7.5 devices that hit the market just last week.

Today's announcement will come as a major blow to Qualcomm, as it was the only company supplying chips for Windows Phone 7 devices to date. Since Nokia is likely to become the biggest maker of Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones, this will mean a significant loss of potential income for the chipmaker.

Despite this bad news, Qualcomm likely will still enjoy major success with builders of Android devices, and until Windows Phone 7.5 increases its market share dramatically the Android market will offer the most profit for Qualcomm.

"We are pleased to have been selected by Nokia as a key partner for Windows smartphones, in line with our goal to be present in all segments and major operating systems," said Gilles Delfassy, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson. "Our NovaThor platforms continue to gain traction as they enable customers to bring great smartphones to the market."

"We have a good working relationship with Qualcomm and are continuing to do some great work together," a spokesperson for Nokia told The INQUIRER. µ


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