Meet MeeGo, the OS That Won't Go Away

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Once upon a time (OK, it was February 2011), Nokia's (NYSE: NOK  ) , then-new CEO, Stephen Elop, sent out what is now known as "The Burning Platform" memo. In it, Elop gave a candid assessment of his company's smartphone platforms vis-a-vis the competition from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) .

"The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience," he wrote. "Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. ... Nokia, our platform is burning."

He also was explicit in his assessment of Nokia's existing mid-range smartphone OS, Symbian: "non-competitive in leading markets like North America," and "an increasingly difficult environment in which to develop."

As for MeeGo, the open-source Linux-based mobile OS jointly developed with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) , the OS that was supposed to save the company, Elop said: "We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However ... by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market."

A MeeGo phone did eventually come out, the N9 -- the first and last of its kind. Nokia then stopped MeeGo development and, as everyone now knows, went with Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Windows Phone OS.

That should have spelled bye-bye for MeeGo, just another would-be mobile ecosystem that couldn't compete with iOS and Android.

But wait
MeeGo hasn't died. Helsinki-based start-up Jolla Ltd. has said it plans to produce MeeGo smartphones and will have an example ready to show this year. The Jolla team is led by former members of Nokia's MeeGo group. The CEO is the former director of MeeGo Computer Releases and Integration at Nokia, and the Jolla COO, CIO, and VP of sales are also escapees from Nokia.

MeeGo is not the only open-source mobile OS out there vying for a decent sized slice of the mobile platform pie. Recently, Mozilla, the parent of the Firefox browser, announced its plans to launch Firefox OS. Based on HTML5 rather than proprietary code, Mozilla says Firefox OS is aimed at cheaper handsets marketed in emerging markets. And MeeGo will also have to contend with Tizen, a Linux-based OS supported by Samsung and Intel.

It would be sweet irony, indeed, for the Nokia refugees if MeeGo would turn out to have a stronger market pull than its usurper, Windows Phone. And a bitter pill for Nokia to swallow.

Stay on top of the trends in telecom by checking out The Motley Fool's report on the next trillion-dollar revolution. It details a "hidden" component play inside mobile phones that is also a leader in the exploding Chinese market. It's free! Or to get a better feel for the Mac Daddy (sorry for the pun) of the smart-device world, pick up a copy of our brand new premium research report on Apple.

Fool contributor Dan Radovsky owns shares of Nokia. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Intel, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Apple and creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2012, at 11:25 PM, xmmj wrote:

    Of all the colossal mistakes that RIMM made, none was bigger than refusing to cooperate with Nokia on MeeGo phones.

  • Report this Comment On July 10, 2012, at 12:26 AM, techy46 wrote:

    RIMM should've gone with Windows Phone since RIMM's market is really the enterprise workers.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1937596, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2016 4:36:42 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:02 PM
NOK $4.92 Down -0.08 -1.60%
Nokia CAPS Rating: **
AAPL $116.60 Down -0.46 -0.39%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
GOOGL $824.06 Up +2.43 +0.30%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
INTC $35.15 Down -0.28 -0.79%
Intel CAPS Rating: ****
MSFT $59.66 Up +2.41 +4.21%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****