Nokia Buys Trolltech, Or How Nokia’s 40% Market Share Becomes A Big Lever

Monday’s big news was of yet another Nokia acquisition, this time dropping $150 million for Trolltech. Trolltech is best known as a mobile Linux company, thanks to its Qtopia software and Greenphone prototype handset. But the real meat here is its decidedly less sexy developer tools, in particular Qt, which lets developers create applications for different software platforms from a single piece of code.

That becomes useful for Nokia if it can support S60, Series 40 and the Web — essentially giving software developers the ability to reach 40% of the market (well, not exactly 40%, but a large part of the market, in any case) from one piece of code. But Java already does this, you say. Perhaps, but few would argue there’s room for improvement. Offering developers an easier way to hit such a huge chunk of the market would be pretty compelling, and as Dean Bubley notes, this is where Nokia starts to really make its market share work for it, by getting developers to make Nokia handsets their first (and perhaps only) stop. Sure, Android sounds cool and everything, but you can’t argue with Nokia’s market share. (See Sender 11, a blog I just found but looks good, for more techie stuff.)

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