ST-Ericsson hopes to be part of Windows Phone 7's future

ST-Ericsson has apparently told Reuters that they are currently focusing on getting their SoCs compatible with Windows Phone 7now that Nokia has announced its partnership with Microsoft. This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you have been following me here as I have speculating and predicting this 8 days ago (I clearly mentioned ST-Ericsson the comments). Here are the exact quotes from the source:

“Adding support to new hardware … is absolutely part of our strategy,” Greg Sullivan, a senior product manager at Microsoft,

As you can clearly see Greg only talks about new hardware not new suppliers (the sentence isn’t even complete..thanks Reuters for the selective quoting..) and this can make a big difference in the current context.

STMicroelectronics and Ericsson, told Reuters it was focusing strongly on Microsoft’s platform to deliver chips and will be ready when Nokia ramps up production of new Windows phones.

“Now everything has changed. The environment is different,” ST-Ericsson Chief Executive Gilles Delfassy said in an interview, adding he does not see Qualcomm’s exclusive deal prevailing.

Here’s my translation: We, ST-Ericsson, hope to be chosen by Microsoft as the SoC of choice for Nokia’s upcoming mid-range Windows Phone devices so we are working hard to prove that we are worth it.

What you have to keep in mind is that Nokia is STE’s biggest client and that losing them to Qualcomm would be a financial disaster for the company. On the other hand Qualcomm who is currently the only certified SoC manufacturer for Windows Phone 7 sure hopes to get all of Nokia’s future business and is currently doing everything to persuade both companies that they are their only choice. Personally, I think that sticking to Qualcomm is the best solution from an ecosystem and development point of vue. ST-Ericsson’s chipset architecture is quite different from Qualcomm’s so it would really be a pain to have to support both. If ST-Ericsson is ever certified it probably won’t be for the higher end devices but I still think that it won’t be the best solution given that Qualcomm already has a full range SoC’s all based on the same architecture that can be used from top to bottom without much problem (the MSM8XXX for high-end and MSM7XXX mid/low end). As I have said last week; Microsoft has been working on new hardware chassis for the platform (and Qualcomm confirmed this to me at MWC) so things have been moving a lot lately but the sudden Nokia partnership is making this a tiny bit more complicated now. Anyway, don’t forget to check out my thoughts on this subject right here.