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Nokia nukes CDMA plans

Nokia nukes CDMA plans

Nokia has no love for CDMA phones, it seems. The company yesterday said it would not form a partnership announced last February to develop CDMA phones with Sanyo. In a press release, the company said the partnership was not "in the best interests of Nokia's long-term success" and that "recent developments may indicate that the CDMA emerging markets business case is looking more challenging."

In the past few years, Nokia has had a somewhat strange relationship with CDMA. As a European company, Nokia has kept GSM at the forefront of its handset offering. But due to the strong CDMA coverage in the United States and the growing use of the technology in emerging markets such as China, Nokia began to dabble in the CDMA space. Most of the offerings have been in the low end, however, with phones such as the Nokia 3155i for Sprint. An exception is the recent Nokia 6305i for Verizon. Developed in partnership with Pantech, a relation that will continue apparently, it was Nokia's first EV-DO phone.

What's more, the company said it plans to ramp down its CDMA offerings by 2007 and leverage CDMA product development resources into other areas. Ouch. So while the move makes sense overall, it's still a bit surprising, particularly since Nokia concentrated on introducing CDMA models during the last two CTIA shows.