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Information on Nokia's 'Meltemi' OS leaks

According to some sources close to Nokia, the communications giant are readying another mobile operating system. While the company is in a partnership with Microsoft, to product Windows Phone 7 handsets, the source suggests that the company is aiming another operating system at the market. Information about the operating system is scarce, but from what can be gathered, it is codenamed 'Meltemi', and is targeted at lower-end handsets. The name is of Greek origin, and relates to the dry summer winds that are experienced over the Aegean Sea from the north.

The source claims that the project is a Linux-based operating system, and is headed by Mary McDowell, the executive vice-president for mobile phones. Nokia's spokesman, Doug Dawson, refused to comment on the claims after being contacted by the Wall Street Journal. The introduction of another new operating system to the market is unusual, due to the dominance of Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7. The move could have some success though, as smart-phones become more popular in nations where they previously had relatively minor penetration of the market.

Nokia's moves mirror those of South Korea-based Samsung, who are investing in their own mobile OS, identified as 'Bada', despite also making smartphones running another operating system (in Samsung's case, these are Android-based devices). Meltemi is targeted at what are known as 'feature phones'. In other words, these are phones which are similar to smartphones, but may not have the same features. They boast the ability to access the internet and other features, but may not feature the ability to download new apps.

It is vital for Nokia that they remain dominant in the feature phone market, as around 47% of their profit in the second quarter stemmed from their sale. The Meltemi OS and feature phones it is aimed seek to make a dent in emerging economies. They are aimed at countries which previously may not have offered the same number of people the same access to cellular devices. China is a good example, though Nokia has found itself challenged in the People's Republic due to the emergence of companies such as Huawei.

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