LONDON Nokia put out an unusually stern and definitive denial after reports suggested it is readying a smartphone or mobile Internet device that would work on the Android operating system.
The Finnish group said there was "absolutely no truth" in the rumors and that it was completely committed to the open source version of Symbian as its OS for its next generation of smartphones.
"Everyone knows that Symbian is our preferred platform for advanced mobile devices," a Nokia spokesman told the Reuters news service.
The uncompromising denial is not surprising. It would have represented an amazing U-turn and shift in strategy for Nokia to offer such a platform.
If perhaps when Nokia does offer an open source Linux based platform for a phone or netbook, one imagines it would be one based around its own Maemo Linux (currently confined to the N8100 Internet Tablet) and Intel's Moblin/Atom architecture.
It is more than likely that the handset and soon other mobile Internet device supplier will gradually shift to a multi-platform provider in the medium term, accepting the need to support - and maybe even control - a major mobile Linux iteration.
The Maemo/Moblin combination will definitely be a powerful challenger to Android, even while Nokia and friends transform Symbian into open source mode. It would also bring the two OSs closer together.
But it would be step too far to come out with a device using Android as it is now. After all Nokia spent more than $400 million to buy out Symbian last year in order to spin it off into a non-profit foundation that offers an open source version of the OS.
At the time, many saw the move as a well-aimed shot across the bow of Android, which had started to be seen as the other big platform for smatphones, not least because of widespread industry backing through the Open Handset Alliance.
Having said all that and because of so far lukewarm success of phones using Android, and far fewer models available than many had predicted at this stage and for a moment playing devil's advocate, Nokia would prove to be a great partner for Android, just the kind of hardware partner the platform needs to make a really big impact in the market.
But such a connection just does not seem feasible. And the recent collaboration struck with Intel to develop chipsets and a mobile Linux-based computing platform also points in a different direction.