Bonum Certa Men Certa

Nokia-Trolltech: the 'Vacuum Cleaner' Deal

It is hard to be the ones who spread negative news [1, 2, 3], but as we continue to explore the Trolltech/Nokia marriage we find that not only was Trolltech underpaid, but Nokia's motive were probably anti-completive too (as we had initially suspected). For backing, consider this BusinessWeek article (interestingly enough, BusinessWeek recently asked people not to link to them).

Nokia's Trolltech Grab Hurts Rivals



The software acquisition bolsters Nokia's perch in the mobile device arena, could further dismantle Motorola, and puts pressure on Google

[...]

But analysts hailed the €104 million ($153 million) acquisition of Oslo-based Trolltech as a kind of strategic hat trick. In one stroke, Nokia has managed to defend itself against incursions into the mobile-phone business by Apple and Google, while potentially further accelerating the meltdown of rival Motorola. "Nokia is responding extremely quickly to what Google and others are doing," notes Ben Wood, director at British mobile consultancy CCS Insight.


It seems like a monopoly defending itself, which brings back memories of Radu's own analysis at Planète Béranger.

We have just found another telling announcement. Several days ago, Red Bend unleashed a press release bearing the headline:

Red Bend Software and Trolltech to Bring Over-the-Air Software Component Management to Linux Mobile Phones



"Mobile phones have become sophisticated communications and multi-media devices. As functionality increases, so too does the amount of software inside mobile phones. Operators, manufacturers and software developers need the flexibility and control to update, add, change and remove any software component inside the mobile phone at any point during the device's lifetime."

A few days later (yesterday) the company issued another press release. Mind the change in the headline:

Red Bend Unveils Linux Mobile Phone Software With Over the Air Updates



"Red Bend Software has unveiled a Linux mobile phone with software that can be fully customized over the air. Red Bend has partnered with industry-leading companies — including Digital Airways, Opera, Synchronica, Trolltech and Zi — to showcase a new concept in customizing mobile software where features, applications and services can be deployed and updated easily and securely over the air on consumers' handsets using Red Bend's vRapid Mobile."

Watch our previous analysis and mind that BusinessWeek article again. It seems more or less clear what is happening here. Is Nokia doing this to defend Symbian and protect itself against giants like Apple and Google?

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