Rumors by Dan Seifert on Thursday September 29, 2011.
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According to the Wall Street Journal and BGR, Nokia is planning to abandon the Series 40 featurephone operating system in its low-end phones and replace it with a new Linux-based OS called Meltemi. The new operating system is expected to be fairly capable, but will not be on the same competitive level as Windows Phone 7.5, iOS, or Android.
The new operating system project is said to be headed up by Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive vice president in charge of mobile phones. It will be strictly relegated to the low-end of the market, which means that we won't likely see it in developed countries.
BGR says that Nokia will still make lower-end Windows Phone smartphones, but that featurephones with this new Meltemi OS will augment them in emerging markets. Meltemi is said to be much more capable than Series 40, which Nokia currently offers on its featurephones, but will run on the same low-cost hardware. By building the operating system in house on open-source software, Nokia will avoid having to pay licensing fees to other companies, and will be able to bring devices to market at a lower price point.
Nokia declined to comment on the rumors surrounding its featurephone plans, and neither the Wall Street Journal or BGR provided a timeline as to when we might see Meltemi on devices.