Nokia to launch Microsoft platform phones in 2011

Jun 21, 2011 By ALEX KENNEDY , Associated Press
Nokia's Chief Executive Stephen Elop speaks with a projected image of the new Nokia N9 phone in the background during a press briefing on the sidelines of CommunicAsia 2011, an international communications and information technology exhibition and conference held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in Singapore. Finnish handset maker Nokia Corp. plans to introduce this year its first mobile phone using the Microsoft Windows platform and Elop said in the speech that Nokia will start to deliver the models in bulk during 2012. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Finnish handset maker Nokia Corp. plans to introduce its first mobile phones using the Microsoft Windows operating system this year, the company's chief executive said Tuesday.

Nokia is facing steep competition from competitors in several products. At the top end of the market it is struggling against smartphones such as Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry as well as Android, and on the lower end against emerging market phone makers who are dropping their prices.

Nokia will start to deliver the Windows-based mobile phones in bulk next year, CEO Stephen Elop said in a speech at a technology trade show in Singapore.

"Our primary smartphone strategy is to focus on the ," Elop said. "I have increased confidence that we will launch our first device based on the Windows platform later this year and we will ship our product in volume in 2012."

Elop has acknowledged Nokia has been too slow to meet the challenge from competitors and has hinted that the company would drop its cellphone prices. Last month, the company warned both sales and in the second quarter would be substantially below previous forecasts.

Nokia also unveiled Tuesday its N9 smartphone, which is based on the MeeGo platform. The company said it plans to launch up to 10 new Symbian-based smartphones over the next 12 months.

Elop said the N9 would go on sale later this year, but declined to specify the date or price.

Nokia developed MeeGo last year in a partnership with U.S. chipmaker . In February, Nokia turned to Microsoft's Windows Phone software as its main smartphone operating system.

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