updated 11:30 am EDT, Fri August 1, 2008
Nokia Zune Phone Rumor
An alleged Microsoft source today claims that Nokia is developing phones that would be compatible with the Zune Marketplace. While the project isn't said to involve custom handset design, Nokia in the suggested plan would integrate its software with content from the Microsoft-run Zune store, which in protected format doesn't currently work outside of Zune portable media players. Whether this would involve direct access to the Zune Marketplace from the phones themselves or sync with PC-based Zune software is unknown.
Nokia has regularly supported Microsoft formats and offers support both for Exchange data and protected Windows Media files but has so far never produced a Windows Mobile device, preferring the more open Symbian Series 40 and 60 operating systems for all of its devices in recent years. A Symbian license for Zune content would mark the first for a non-Microsoft operating system.
No timeline has been uncovered for the proposed deal, according to the tip. The same source also claims to have no knowledge of rumored first meetings to build a Zune phone inside Microsoft.
The Windows developer itself has been shy on details other than to officially deny developing its own Zune-branded cellphone, although it has said it may integrate aspects of the Zune experience into Windows Mobile and has also said that all-in-one devices are inevitable in the long term.