Nokia to skip operator tailoring for Linux phones. (Full Version)

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astra -> Nokia to skip operator tailoring for Linux phones. (9/9/2009 9:53:41 AM)

Nokia Oyj plans to skip tailoring software of its upcoming top-of-the-range model N900 to different operators, raising the risk some carriers, who focus on integrating their own software, could refuse to offer the model.

Nokia's plan for phones using its Linux Maemo operating system is the latest twist in a battle between handset vendors and operators for access to cellphone users.

The world's top cellphone maker last month unveiled its first phone running on Linux, aiming at improving its offering and assuring investors of its ability to compete with Apple Inc and Google Inc.

Nokia is looking to save costs on launching new products while also competing with likes of the iPhone, but relations with operators remain crucial in some key markets such as the United States and Britain.

The focus of cellphone business has shifted to services and software following Apple and Google's Android entrances to the market in the last two years.

"Very clearly Apple, Android ... are a whole lot less about providing customisation to the operators and a whole lot more about providing a really cool, compelling value proposition to the end-consumer," David Rivas, Nokia's vice president for devices R&D, told Reuters.

Nokia and its Symbian operating system -- which it tailors very specifically, installing operators' software -- have lost market share in smartphones, but they still control almost half of the smartphone market.

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