Tag Archives: MeeGo boss quits

Nokia's MeeGo boss calls it quits fuelling rumors about Android becoming Nokia's OS of choice

6 Oct

Even as Nokia’s distribution channel races against time to ensure N8 units are available on shelves across the world, Nokia suffered yet another major loss as its vice president of MeeGo devices, Ari Jaaksi has called it quits citing personal reasons. Nokia announced MeeGo earlier this year at MWC with Intel, hoping it would help it regain some lost ground even as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating systems for smartphones fill the void left by Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

Jaaksi is the latest in the exodus of high profile executives to leave Nokia after its CEO, Olli Pekka Kalasvou was replaced by Stephen Elop and Anssi Vanjoki resigned after being passed for the top job. Even Nokia’s former CEO and current chairman, Jorma Ollila, is expected to step down in 2012.

While Nokia maintains that it will launch a smartphone running on the MeeGo platform in 2010, various news reports quote Intel execs as saying that the first devices will be launched only in 2011.

Time is running out for Nokia to come out with high-end smartphones that can take on iPhone and Android smartphones, and every passing day will make it even tougher for the world’s largest cellphone vendor. Microsoft it expected to launch its first smartphones running Windows Phone 7 next week, on October 11.

Ironically, today is also the day when I got hold of the Nokia N8, which is expected to be launched in India next week. While Symbian is no where close to compete with the two dominating smartphone operating system, I found it to be an excellent device for multimedia users who care more about their music and pictures than Internet browsing on the cellphone. Nokia’s Ovi Music Store offers N8 users unlimited song downloads from its repository of over a million songs.

Symbian might still have enough stamina in it to help Nokia be present in the mid-end multimedia segment but it will need much more to compete with some of the best smartphones available from Nokia’s rivals. If MeeGo is taking longer than expected, Nokia might have to look at other alternatives as a stop-gap arrangement.

While I do not think Nokia would look at employing Android or licensing Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS (Nokia and Microsoft had tied up for some services earlier this year but OS licensing was not a part of the deal or at least that was not announced), many are speculating that it might just happen. TechCrunch is reporting that Nokia’s new CEO, Elop might be talking to his counterpart at Google, Eric Schmidt, about an arrangement where Android might power some of Nokia’s top-of-the-line smartphones while its engineers keep working on MeeGo.

To be honest, that would possibly be Nokia’s last option, just like Finn boys pissing in their pants to keep themselves warm while they search for an alternative source of heat.