Linux-based Meltemi could power low-end Nokia phones

Microsoft’s Windows Phone may have been tapped to power a wide range of Nokia smartphones, but the Finnish-based firm is reportedly coding a new Linux-based OS for lower-end handsets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the nascent operating system has been code-named Meltemi – the Greek word for dry summer winds that blow across the Aegean Sea from the north. 

Development of the OS is being led by Mary McDowell, the handset maker’s executive VP in charge of mobile phones.

Although Nokia refused to either confirm or deny the above-mentioned report, Christopher Lawton of the WSJ opined that Nokia’s Meltemi efforts illustrates the paradigm industry shift from hardware to software.

Indeed, Google’s wildly popular Android OS currently dominates the mid-range smartphone market, while Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone has clinched the high-end.

Clearly, handset manufacturers that own their own software, such as Apple, have significant advantages, as they are more capable of differentiating their products – and aren’t contingent on another company for growth or revenue.

Of course, the chances of Meltemi’s success remain unclear. But one thing is certain: consumers expect even low-end feature phones to act like smartphones in some respect.

Perhaps Meltemi – rather than the now defunct Meego and Symbian – can help fulfill that expectation.