Late last year, Nokia closed a deal to buy Norwegian firm Smarterphone, developer of the Smarterphone OS. That operating system has been around since 2008, powering feature phones such as the Kyocera C4700. The acquisition adds a new wrinkle to the company's strategy for lower-end handsets as it moves away from Symbian. We've already heard rumblings about the Linux-based "Meltemi" project as a successor, with Eldar Murtazin, for one, suggesting it will gradually replace the S40 operating system. He also believes the Smarterphone OS will replace the lower-end S30 software, maintaining Nokia's two-tiered feature phone approach.
Some of the wilder speculation we've heard has the company buying Smarterphone in preparation to sell its smart phone line-up to Microsoft, then focusing entirely on feature phones. It seems more likely that Nokia's expanding up its software portfolio as a complement to the Windows Phone OS — which, remember, it pays to license from Microsoft. There's no word on how much Nokia paid for Smarterphone, making it tricky to gauge the company's commitment to feature phones. The company may not be ready to tip its hand just yet: major investor Ferd Capital recently posted news of the acquisition, but the official announcement has since disappeared from its website.