Nokia has refuted reports suggesting it is exploring a switch from Microsoft's Windows Phone OS to Google's Android for future smartphone models.
Nokia spokesperson Doug Dawson dismissed the rumors, which started to swirl last week after the Finnish handset maker posted a job listing on its website for a Linux software engineer. The listing called for a "Principal Software Engineer, Embedded Linux Middleware" that Nokia said was needed to help develop "exciting new products" for upcoming "mobile phone technology." Reports subsequently emerged from a number of tech news sites, speculating that Android-based Nokia smartphones could be in the works.
Nokia's Dawson disproved these reports on Twitter, explaining that the job listing related only to Nokia's new HERE Maps software, not a broader transition to Android.
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"Our recently posted job is linked to our HERE Maps support for other platforms, including iOS and Android," Dawson tweeted Sunday.
Nokia last month said it was extending the availability of its HERE mapping services from Windows Phone to Apple's iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The software could become a widely used alternative to Apple's own Maps app in iOS 6, which was largely a flop among users.
Nokia also said it was exploring opportunities to make its HERE software available on Android devices starting in 2013.
Still, Nokia's loyalties have lied almost exclusively with Microsoft since it unveiled an alliance with the software giant in February 2011. All of Nokia's flagship smartphones, including its Lumia lineup, are based on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, but the two have struggled to capture significant market share from rivals Google and Android.
According to recent data from research firm Gartner, Android and iOS dominated the global smartphone market in the third quarter, accounting for 72.4 percent and 13.9 percent share, respectively. Microsoft's Windows Phone, meanwhile, accounted for a comparatively meager 2.4 percent.
PUBLISHED DEC. 3, 2012