Qualcomm's stranglehold on Windows Phone chipsets may soon be at an end, judging by a new press release coming out from ST-Ericsson. The latter has had a longstanding relationship with Nokia, which today has been reaffirmed with the news that the ST-Ericsson NovaThor chipset will be present in future Nokia Windows Phones. The agreement is described as helping Nokia bring WP devices to "new price points and geographies." That sounds very much like the plan is for ST-Ericsson to outfit a new lower-end range for developing nations (think Asha, but with more Mango and less S40). Then again, the NovaThor line is currently composed only of dual-core SoCs, none of which look particularly capable of being cheap enough to facilitate breakthrough pricing, so we'll have to wait and see exactly what it is that these two companies are cooking up.
Nokia confirmed to us that it's working with ST-Ericsson, but had nothing to add to the press release from the chip maker. We've also reached out to Qualcomm, to see what its reaction is to having to share the Windows Phone pie with a competitor, but we've yet to hear back. Once the guys from San Diego get back to us, we'll update this story.
Update: Qualcomm's reaction:
"As Windows Phone grows in popularity, it is natural to expect that they would diversify their number of suppliers. This has no impact on our commitment to Nokia and Microsoft and we look forward to continuing to work with all Windows Phone OEMs to deliver the best possible experiences on Windows Phone and Windows 8."