Despite Nokia saying they have spoken to a number of carriers and were making approaches to Verizon prior to their Windows Phone 7 deal, it seems Verizon is not particularly receptive.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress Verizon Communications Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone says they did not think Windows Phone 7 would be a major player.
"I do want a strong third OS out there," Melone said. "It gives the carriers more flexibility and balances the interests of all the parties. But I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction they are hoping for with Windows Phone 7."
"We have good and deep strong relationships with Google and Apple," Melone said. "But it’s good to have balance in these relationships. As a carrier we want to make sure there is flexibility. We don’t want to be viewed as a dumb pipe. And it’s good to have choices for us and our customers."
Verizon is however betting on RIM to be a balancing force between Android and iOS.
"People are still buying BlackBerrys on Verizon’s network," Melone said. "And I do consider RIM a strong third player. I know the momentum is not in their favor right now. But they have been strong in the past and there is potential for them to rebound. So I wouldn’t discount them."
Melone even preferred webOS over Windows Phone 7, despite the moribond OS selling at half the rate of the very new Windows Phone 7.
"If HP decides to license WebOS that could also become a third or fourth player that is used by OEMs," he said. "I’m more optimistic with WebOS developing into a strong player, just based on the strength of the OS. It has some very unique and good characteristics."
Since Nokia does not at present make CDMA devices the carrier does not have an existing relationship with the carrier, and it shows.
"If you look at our device pipeline for 2011, we have very strong relationships with LG, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and now Apple," he said. "So I think it would take a really compelling device from Nokia or any new vendor to break in. It doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but it would have to be really good."
"I don’t think Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship," he said. "Right now the three OS players we see for our network are Android, Apple, and RIM. "
The animosity may be related to the KIN disaster which saw Verizon in the end offering consumers replacement handsets to swap for the devices.
Despite this Verizon is expected to release a Windows Phone 7 handset, the HTC 7 Trophy, in the first half of 2011.
Thanks JustVisiting for the tip.