Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) plans to speed up its transition to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows Phone and recover from its financial slump by deeply discounting its Lumia smartphones. The company's CEO Stephen Elop acknowledged that the low-cost Android OS has been winning out over its own basic feature phones, and the one-time leader has seen its sales slip in China, Europe and North America. Already, the average price for Nokia's basic phones has fallen to €33, 18 percent less than the €40 it charged a year earlier. Elop did not give details about the coming discounts. (See Euronews: Nokia's Q1 Device Disaster and Nokia Loses More Than €1.57B.)
Microsoft finds an ally in Verizon: T-Mobile US Inc. might have been Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s first partner for Android, but Verizon Wireless "created" the OS, according to its CFO. Speaking on the carrier's first quarter earnings call Thursday, CFO Fran Shammo said Verizon helped create Android from the beginning with its Droid family of smartphones that epitomized the brand. Now, it's looking to do the same with a third ecosystem. Unfortunately for RIM, it sees that third platform of choice being Microsoft. The comments suggest Big Red could follow AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in launching a Windows Phone device in the U.S. soon. (See Verizon to Roll Out Sharable Data Buckets and Don't Count Nokia Out Just Yet.)
The Apple rumor de jour: In what may be the cutest Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) rumor yet, the Cupertino giant is said to be working on a mini version of the iPad, even though its late CEO Steve Jobs scoffed at the idea. Media reports from South Korea, China and Taiwan suggest Apple has ordered 7.86 inch Samsung Corp. screens to build an iPad that's about half the size of the current version. The iPad Mini would make life difficult for developers building for the OS on the smaller form factor. But, it would also fill a gap in size and price point between the iPad 2 and the iPod, as well as fill a person's pocket just perfectly.
Apple, Samsung forced to talk it out: One piece of confirmed news about Apple and Samsung is that the CEOs of both companies were ordered to attend a settlement conference about their patent dispute in a federal court in San Jose, Calif. Both have agreed to participate, and the meeting will take place within the next 90 days. The two companies have filed more than 30 lawsuits against each other, spanning four continents, in the past year. (See Samsung Hears From T-Mobile & Steve Jobs and EC Hints at Smartphone Patent Probe .)