The first Nokia Oyj smartphone based on Microsoft Corp software following the partnership announced by the companies last month is on its way to being manufactured soon, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop said. Although Elop has said that he would prefer to launch it by the end of this year, Nokia's chairman has said Windows-based Nokia phones will be on sale from 2012. “We're right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. That work is already under way. If this was an acquisition scenario, that wouldn't be possible,” Elop said. Elop was recruited last year to rescue Nokia from increasing irrelevance at the high end of the market and is under huge pressure to produce results from the partnership. Elop, who left a Microsoft executive post to join Nokia last September, also said he could see no good reason for the speculation that Microsoft might try to buy Nokia. “I'm not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business,” Elop said. “To the extent that a partnership has been formed around what they're really interested in, then what would an acquisition bring other than a good year of anti-trust investigation, huge turmoil, delays?” Nokia shares have fallen almost 30 per cent since the agreement with Microsoft was announced and remain not far from their more than 10-year low of 5.415 euros set earlier this week.
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