According to a Reuters report from Nokia World in Barcelona, Nokia is open to the idea of using Linux on their high end phones. A Linux Maemo distribution is used now on their N810 Internet Tablet and it is quite a powerful solution. I enjoy using the N810, except for the seemingly slow responsiveness in some applications. Currently, Nokia uses its S60 implementation on their high end phones.
The statement from Ukko Lappalainen, vice president of Nokia's markets unit, doesn't state they will be using a Linux OS, but just that they are considering it as an alternative. Nokia purchased Trolltech, an embedded Linux company, earlier in 2008 and Trolltech/Nokia have consolidated the Trolltech brands into a singular brand labeled Qt. Qt Extended 4.4 was recently released and shows how far Nokia has come with Linux. Using something like Qt in a high end Nokia phone does not appear to be far off and we may see Nokia competing with the Google Android OS in the near future.
Did you know that Qt is currently running the Dash navigation device and Netflix Roku?