Monday, February 14, 2011

Rumor round-up: Microsoft to pay 'billions' for providing Nokia with its mobile OS; is a smaller iPhone on the way?

According to a Computerworld post on Sunday the decision to go with Windows Phone 7 was the result of Microsoft winning a bidding war by promising to pay the Finnish telecom "billions" over the life of the deal.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is quoted as explaining that the deal will be a big one for Nokia: In fact the value transferred to Nokia is measured in Bs not Ms,” Elop is quoted as saying.

Of course, this may well be a quick justification for going with the company where Elop served as head of the business division; or, it may the valuation of the deal as estimated by Nokia. Elop, for his part, tried to dispel talk that he is essentially a 'plant', brought in by the Nokia board to complete a deal with Microsoft. "I am not a Trojan horse,” the Nokia CEO said.

Speaking of rumors, this one just won't go away: Apple is planning to launch a smaller version of the iPhone. That, at least, is what the WSJ wrote yesterday, the latest in a string of rumors concerning a smaller iPhone or iPad.
According to the WSJ story, the new iPhone would be lower in cost, allowing carriers to possibly subsidize the entire cost of the phone. It would be a move quite out of character for Apple, which usually enjoys staying away from being the low price provider of hardware.

Another Apple rumor that just won't die is the second one mentioned in the WSJ story: a major revamp of MobileMe, the service offered Mac owners that includes online storage, e-mail and information syncing. Currently the service costs users $99 per year, but the rumor has been that Apple would make the service free to Mac and iOS owners. With the recent construction of a huge server farm in North Carolina, this one has some legs. I have been a MobileMe customer from the start and endured Apple's botched launch. But the service makes sense for those customers who want to keep their contacts, calendars and e-mail accounts synced from device to device.