RPT-CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-ST-Ericsson: ready on WP7 when Nokia is

Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:40am EST

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(Repeats to additional Reuters clients) (Corrects in fifth bullet point and 10th paragraph after company corrects breakeven target to the second quarter of 2012 from the second half of 2012)

* Says WP7 support on platform when Nokia ramps up volumes

* 'A lot' of new Tier 1 customers to be unveiled this year

* This year in several tablets with volumes

* Small volumes of U8500 to ship in H1, big volumes H2

* Targets breakeven in Q2 2012

By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent

BARCELONA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - ST-Ericsson is focusing strongly on Microsoft's (MSFT.O) platform to deliver chips and will be ready when Nokia (NOK1V.HE) ramps up production of new Windows Phones, the chief executive of the mobile chip venture said.

Nokia announced last Friday it would partner with Microsoft and would adopt Windows Phone software across its smartphones, replacing its home-grown platform. [ID:nLDE71A0DG]

So far Microsoft has allowed use of its software only on Qualcomm's (QCOM.O) chipsets, but ST-Ericsson Chief Executive Gilles Delfassy said that was due to change.

"We expect this situation will not prevail. Now everything has changed. The environment is different," he told Reuters in an interview, adding the company had already increased its focus on the Windows Phone platform.

"We will be ready when Nokia ramps big volumes," he said.

The joint venture between Sweden's Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and STMicroelectronics (STM.PA) of France is a key supplier to Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, and Delfassy said more major customers were to be announced later this year.

"A lot of new Tier 1 customers are using our platforms," he said.

There are only a handful Tier 1 phone makers in addition to its three major old clients. Semiconductor firms are usually not allowed to unveil their orders before clients publish products.

Loss-making ST-Ericsson has been cutting costs and revamping operations since it started operations in early 2009.

It aims to reach breakeven in the second quarter of 2012.

Delfassy said company key smartphone platform, the U8500, would ship in "small volumes in the first half, big volumes in the second half".

ST-Ericsson demonstrated at Mobile World Congress a reference design tablet which it has made with Quanta Computer Inc (2382.TW).

"We have several tablet programmes that will turn to volumes this year," Delfassy said. (Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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