Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop has moved to quash rumours that Microsoft is planning to take over the ailing handset manufacturer.
"There is absolutely no discussion [about a takeover]. The rumours are baseless. It's as clear as that," Elop said on Wednesday at the annual D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Nokia is focused on building an ecosystem to compete with Apple and Android in the smartphone market, and the firm's first Windows Phone is on course to ship in the fourth quarter of 2011, Elop told attendees.
"It is no longer a battle of devices, it is a war of ecosystems. Therefore, we're partnering with Microsoft to build that ecosystem and deliver those great devices," he said.
"With Symbian, it was going to take us too long [to compete]. It's been a very successful operating system. [But] it's in a position now where it's a bit crufty, where it takes too long to change [and] where it's fragile at times."
Interestingly, Elop suggested that Nokia is going to need the help of other manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung to grow the Windows Phone ecosystem and subsequently attract developers.
Elop did, however, admit that, although the transition phase to Windows Phone "feels painful right now", it is part of a long-term strategy.
The Nokia chief also opened up about the Finnish firm's declining market share in the feature phone market, which he put down to "intense competition" from Chinese manufacturers.
However, Elop maintained that there are hundreds of millions of Symbian devices out there, and that tens of millions are sold each quarter.
Nokia said earlier this week that it will cancel its financial forecasts for the rest of 2011, and saw a quarter knocked off the value of its shares within 24 hours.
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