Bucking the trend
Nokia is fast becoming no stranger to the going against the established flow. Having chosen WP7 as its smartphone platform of choice, one of Nokia'a partners is now suggesting it will also be breaking from the norm with its choice of processor in its second generation of WP7 devices.
According to Carlo Bozotti, chief executive of semiconductor company STMicroelectronics at least some of Nokia's Windows Phone 7 forthcoming devices will be ignoring the Qualcomm Snapdragon currently at the heart of every WP7 handset in favour of an ST-Ericsson U8500 (a collaborative work between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson) SoC - incidentally the same chip powering Nokia's prototype MeeGo tablet device
The news is interesting as it shows not only that Nokia is looking past the current generation of hardware in developing its own Windows Phone 7 devices, but also sees Microsoft coming good on its promise to open up the currently very tight restrictions on what hardware is approved to run WP7.
It's been known as since February that Microsoft was working with STMicroelectronics on doing just that, and the U8500 boasts a pair of 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores, so it's certainly up to the task of handling WP7.
It will be a while, however, before these chips hit the market, and in the interim Nokia isn't sitting idle. Speaking to Reuters a Nokia spokesperson confirmed that its first wave of WP7 handsets indeed will be Qualcomm-powered, just like everyone else's.
If Botozzi is correct, handsets sporting his company's chips won't surface until 2012, giving consumers a long wait. Considering how fast the market is moving, it will be interesting to see if this technology remains cutting edge by the time it hits the market in a WP7 handset from Nokia.