Nokia building Meltemi, a new OS for cheap phones

Nokia could be working a new operating system. Apparently code named Meltemi, it's aimed at low-end mobiles.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Beleaguered phone giant Nokia is working on yet another new operating system for low-end mobiles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Citing folks "familiar with the matter", the report reckons Nokia is constructing a Linux-based OS for cheap blowers. Codenamed 'Meltemi', it's named after the Greek word for the dry north winds of the Aegean Sea. That's impressively specific for just one little word.

We're not sure how to feel about Nokia building a new operating system. On the one hand we've not quite forgiven it for ditching MeeGo just as it was getting good, and the thought of yet another operating system fighting for our attention makes our head spin.

On the other hand, Nokia's great strength lies in its budget mobiles, of which it sells absolutely bucketloads. So if it can build an intuitive, compelling platform for low-spec phones, that could help keep it ahead of the bargain-basement Chinese manufacturers.

There is a downside though -- since we heard that our favourite Finns had buddied up with Microsoft, we were harbouring hopes that Nokia would be the manufacturer to finally make some affordable Windows Phone devices, freeing the hoity-toity OS from the confines of high-end smart phones. But if Nokia is beavering away on a new platform for cheap mobiles, that may not be the case.

Just yesterday we reported that MeeGo, the operating system Nokia once favoured, has been officially scrapped in favour of another Linux-based platform, called Tizen. It's all go in the topsy-turvy world of mobile operating systems! 

Are there too many OSes to keep track of these days? Or do you welcome a new contender? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall.