A leaked memo has exposed the major rift between the handset manufacturer Nokia and the operators - Orange in particular - that supply most of its customer base. The whole argument surrounds the recently announced N81 handset, which is the first Nokia phone designed to support the Finnish giant's new online music store.
Trouble is, the operators have their own online music stores, and make a good deal of money from them. So you can see why they're less than happy at Nokia trying to push its way into that lucrative market. 3 banned the phone outright, and Orange tried and failed to get Nokia to trial a variety of music stores on the N81.
The leaked Orange memo states: "If Nokia declines this opportunity, we will need to work with other manufacturers to close the connections shortfall we would expect from deranging the device." I particularly like the use of the word "deranging" there - do they mean removing it from the range, or hobbling it like they did with the N95's VoIP capabilities?
Either way, you can expect to see more of this kind of tussle in the future. I'm particularly intrigued to see the details of the deal between Apple and O2 (if that is indeed the lucky operator) regarding the iTunes-ready iPh*ne...