Nokia Mapping a Future for Location-Based Mobile Services and Applications

3/10/09

In Finland I am a reporter for Ilta-Sanomat, Helsinki’s second-largest newspaper. I write about Finland’s Nokia a lot, so I may have a different perspective on Qualcomm, the San Diego-based chipset maker.

For us Finns, Nokia is a larger-than-life, close-to-home success story. We speak the same strange language and it’s our only global giant. In the United States, which is the leading market for mobile phones, Nokia lost its No. 1 ranking in cell phone sales when the clamshell design and thinner cell-phones became popular. Then came the iPhones. Nokia wants to change this situation and resume its leadership position in the U.S. market.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) got new hope to fulfill its ambitions last month, when Qualcomm and Nokia announced a joint “Plan to Develop Advanced Mobile Devices.” A statement issued by the two companies on Feb. 17th didn’t provide many details about this collaboration. Qualcomm’s Steve Mollenkopf says in the statement, “This new level of cooperation would bring exceptional leaps in mobile performance to people around the world.”

Only last year Nokia and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) settled a nasty patent fight. In Finland, Qualcomm was viewed by many as being very aggressive in its licensing demands. But this new collaboration benefits both organizations: Qualcomm gets its first deal with Nokia, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones; Nokia gets a fresh opportunity to reclaim its leadership in the U.S. market. Their mutual goal is to research and make the next-generation phones, which means iPhone killers.

One place where this collaboration may be playing out … Next Page »

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