Ever since Microsoft launched their Windows Phone 7 platform, they’ve made it very clear to manufacturers that the main hardware specifications would remain unchanged, no matter what. This was a fair trade in a way since you got the same experience no matter which phone you chose, something that Google could have used, as well. More than that, Qualcomm was the sole provider of chipsets for Windows Phone devices, creating a bit of a monopoly in the market. All that’s in the past now however, as Nokia has signed a deal with ST-Ericsson to provide chipsets for their lower-end Windows Phone devices in the future.

Brothers in arms

Brothers in arms

ST-Ericsson, a global wireless platform and semiconductor supplier, started as a joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson. Their current line-up, called NovaThor, consists of three popular platforms – the U5500, U8500 and U9500. All three feature dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, NEON CPU extensions and ARM Mali 400 graphics cores. It’s not certain if Nokia will use any of these existing chipsets or go with something new altogether, but going by the fact that ST-Ericsson will be supplying the chips for their lower end handsets, we think dual-core is not the answer. Qualcomm will still continue to provide chipsets for the higher end Windows phones though, but at least now, companies can turn to ST-Ericsson for devices aimed at emerging markets. We could also expect to see Windows Phone ‘Tango’ making its debut on these devices.

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