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Nokia readying Qualcomm-equipped handset for AT&T

updated 07:20 pm EDT, Thu October 29, 2009

Company attempting to double US market share

Nokia is allegedly working on a Symbian-based handset aimed at the US market, an unnamed source has told VentureBeat. Interestingly enough, the device is expected to integrate a Qualcomm chip. If true, the component choice could indicate the companies are continuing to warm up to each other after a lengthy legal war over patent claims.

Additional specs on the unannounced device remain unknown. The source claims Nokia has yet to finalize certain details.

Nokia and Qualcomm last year announced an end to their patent feud, with both companies compromising through licensing agreements as part of a 15-year settlement. A Reuters report early this year suggested Nokia would purchase Qualcomm chips for several of its smartphones.

Qualcomm even established itself as a gold sponsor at the SEE event hosted by the Symbian Foundation. The company this week announced that it has joined the Symbian Foundation board, providing further backing to Nokia's Symbian-based handsets.

After letting its US market share decline year after year, Nokia has finally acknowledged making several blunders in its approach. "Mea culpa, mea culpa," said Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive VP and chief development officer. While AT&T is said to get the rumored device, the company is also working to develop relationships with other carriers such as Verizon and T-Mobile.

As the Finnish phone maker attempts to double its US market share, the company's legal team has targeted Apple in a new round of patent litigation. Apple is accused of using Nokia's protected technology in the iPhone, a charge that some analysts believe could result in a settlement ranging between $200 million and $1 billion for back payments.

Nokia's N900 handset will be its next smartphone to hit the US market. The device initially will not be tied to a carrier, although it will ship as an unlocked version expected to cost approximately $750.

by MacNN Staff





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