It looks like Qualcomm’s exclusivity with Microsoft Windows Phone devices is about to end. Since the launch of the operating system late last year, each phone running the operating system has been powered by the same 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and similar display size and camera megapixels – Microsoft wanted users to have a uniform experience for all WP7 devices.
Well it looks like that’s about the change since Nokia hopped on board. First it was announced that Nokia would get the ability to customize Windows Phone 7 despite them stating previously that manufacturers or carriers weren’t allowed to customize the UI beyond the provision of homescreen apps. And now, the folks over at Forbes reported that Nokia’s Windows Phone devices will be powered by chips manufactured by ST-Ericsson; which means that Qualcomm isn’t going to be the only chip player in the WP7 field anymore.
ST-Ericsson, the joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson, will be providing the U8500 dual-core SoC that will be used in Nokia’s Windows Phone devices. No word on whether the other phone manufacturers will be using the ST-Ericsson SoC for their phones, but it looks like we can expect dual-core processors on the rest of the next generation Windows Phone devices.