Nokia working on Meltemi, a new Linux-based OS for low-end handsets
After dumping its MeeGo operating system, which looked surprisingly good on the Nokia N9, Nokia is up for another strange decision - working on its own Linux-based OS under the Meltemi codename, this time for low-end phones, according to a WSJ article quoting “people familiar with the matter.” Mary McDowell, running Nokia’s low-end handset division is reported to head the project.
For Nokia, this will mean some more versatility for its cheaper phones as the company has already committed to a partnership with Microosft tying it with Windows Phone for high-end handsets. Meltemi might arrive on Nokia’s more affordable devices. The origins of the name of the OS are poetic as it all comes from Greek and translates like the Northern winds hitting the Aegean sea in summer.
Nokia declined to comment on Meltemi or any other future products for that matter. Interestingly, looking back in time, a Register article in April first speaks of Meltemi as the project where ex-MeeGo engineers could have headed to:
There will also be opportunities within the Meltemi organization, for personnel working within the MeeGo teams.
To make matters even more interesting, we should mention that Nokia has already stated its intention to bring a touch UI to its Java-based Series 40 platform. Nokia has also previously been said to work on a touch and app enabled affordable devices, which sounds like a powerful combination for emerging markets. Currently, 47% of Nokia’s shipped phones are feature phones, so maintaining that share might be crucial for the company’s future.