Tag: nokia

Nokia quickly merges Alcatel-Lucent operations

wellington-bootFormer rubber boot maker Nokia has gained control of French counterpart Alcatel-Lucent following its $17 billion all-share offer and the two telecom equipment makers are planning to swiftly merge their operations.

Nokia wants to be in a stronger position to give Ericsson and Huawei a good kicking in the telecom network gear markets.  To do that it has to absorb  Alcatel-Lucent and restructure its channel rather fast.

Formal closure of the deal is not expected unti the first quarter of next year, but the restructuring will happen before that.

Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said that from January 14, 2016, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent will offer a combined end-to-end portfolio of the scope and scale to meet the needs of our global customers.

The stock is still down about 10 percent since the announcement of the deal in April as investors have worried about the integration process and special terms negotiated by the French government.

But in October, Nokia brought forward the deal’s 900 million euro cost-saving target by a year to 2018.

The deal, set to become the biggest transaction in Finland’s corporate history, follows a string of M&A moves that have restructured former mobile phone giant Nokia in recent years.

In 2013, it took control of its network business by buying out Siemens from a joint venture, and in 2014 it sold the ailing mobile phone business to Microsoft. Last year it also sold navigation business.

EC approves Nokia’s Alcatel-Lucent buy

euThe European Commission has approved Finnish telecom equipment group Nokia’s planned buy of Alcatel-Lucent because the two were not close competitors.

It said the merged Fin-French outfit will still face shedloads of competition even if it will have combined market shares around or above 30 percent for several specific types of equipment.

“The overlaps between the two companies’ activities are effectively limited,” the Commission said in a statement.

Nokia had a strong presence in Europe, where Alcatel-Lucent was small, with the positions reversed in North America.

Nokia launched its all-share deal then worth 15.6 billion euros to buys its smaller French rival in April. The move is seen as the company building up its telecom equipment business to compete with market leader Ericsson.

The merged group is smaller than the son of Eric, but bigger than Chinese rival Huawei’s and ZTE.

 

Nokia denies it wants its mobile phone business back

shoe phoneThe former maker of rubber wear for those cold Finnish nights, Nokia, has denied reports in Chinese media that it planned to return to manufacturing phones.

Nokia sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft and claimed it was quietly getting on with networking and other more lucrative things.

However the Chinese press was all abuzz with the news that Nokia was going to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China.

Nokia said that the reports are false. It even put it on its website, so the denial must be true.

“Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.”

But Nokia has said it is looking into returning to the smartphones business by brand licensing, which is a little odd, but then there are a lot of things which are a little odd about Nokia lately

Soon after Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft, it launched a new brand licensed tablet computer, produced under licence by Taiwan’s Foxconn, with an intention to follow up with more devices.

Nokia has agreed with Microsoft that it will not enter the mobile phone business before 2016.

Sebastian Nystrom, the head of products at Nokia’s Technologies unit, told Reuters in November that Nokia would be crazy if it did not look at mobile phone production eventually.

Nokia this month announced a takeover of France’s Alcatel-Lucent, a bid to boost its mainstay network equipment business, and also said it could hive off its map business.

All this suggests that Nokia sold off its mobile business with the long term aim of building a new leaner and meaner one, from scratch. Of course the denials might be true, for now, but if we look back this time next year the plans might have firmed up a little more.

 

Microsoft rolls out $29 phone

microsoft-in-chinaTech giant Microsoft started the New Year by announcing it was releasing a feature phone which will be priced at $29.
The Nokia 215 is aimed at emerging markets and for people who want a second phone and don’t have very much money.
The phone can connect to the internet but only at speeds of 237 kbps but the big selling point is its battery life which has nearly a month’s stand by time.
In addition, the Nokia 215 comes with a camera and has a screen about two and a half inches in size.  The camera’s resolution is 0.3 megapixels.
Software included is Bing Search, Opera, Facebook and Twitter.
The phone comes with either one or two SIM slots and is expected to be released across the world during the first quarter of this year.
While there is still considerable demand in poorer countries for affordable phones, Microsoft cannot expect to make that much money out of this market.
And, in addition, it faces competition from Chinese companies who have started delivering phones with far more sophisticated features for not that much more money.

 

Apple ruled Christmas

two-applesA report from Flurry indicated that Apple seriously outdid its competitors over the Christmas period.

The metrics company said that of all the devices activated in the week up to Christmas Day, Apple ruled the roost with 51 percent of device activations.

Samsung devices took second place with 17.7 percent of activations, Nokia took 5.8 percent, Sony took 1.6 percent and LG managed a measly 1.4 percent.

Microsoft owns Nokia now so it could be said to be third in the pecking order.

Flurry Analytics said the figures indicated that the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus had a “blockbuster” holiday season, beating the somewhat dismal gizmo trend.

Flurry also said that the largest number of app installs on Christmas Day, with 2.5 times the installs compared to any day in the previous three weeks.

The company also managed to track the type of device, with full size tablets taking 16 percent, small tablets 17 percent, “phablets” three percent, medium phones 58 percent and smalll phones seven percent.

Finland gives up on handwriting

Pieter_Claeszoon_-_Still_Life_with_a_Skull_and_a_Writing_QuillThe home of Nokia, Finland has decided to give up teaching handwriting, in favour of typing courses.

The Savon Sanomat newspaper reports that from autumn 2016 cursive handwriting will no longer be a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Instead the schools will teach keyboard skills and “texting”.

Actually, keyboard skills are surprisingly less common than most people think. Most people “pick up” typing and really have no idea what home keys are and some of the other black arts imparted by jack-booted typing teachers in schools. “Touch typing” produces speeds of 126 words per minute.

Some countries already provide an opportunity for students to learn to type properly, many others treat the whole idea as a low-level skill that can simply be “picked up.”

The teachers that the Savon Sanomat newspaper spoke to said that children would benefit from the changes to the curriculum, and that attention would be paid to those kids who may not have access to the same kind of modern-day gadgetry at home as their peers. Minna Harmanen, of Finland’s National Board of Education, said that fluent typing was an important “civic skill” that every child should learn.

Of course this does mean that we will be raising a generation of children who cannot leave a note on the fridge and might not be able to carve their own names in the desks at school.

Nokia’s N1 Android tablet is made by Foxconn

_79097039_6168ac6a-287c-499b-a17d-b6c10d1479d5While the Tame Apple Press rants that Nokia’s N1 Android tablet copies the iPad, it seems they are missing the real story – the N1 was entirely made by Foxconn.

Nokia has collaborated with Foxconn to bring its first Nokia-branded, Android-powered device. The outfit is planning to start working on smartphones as soon as the restrictions posed by the Microsoft deal expire in 2015.

What is weird is that it is a Nokia device which has been made by an outfit which is supposed to have sold its Devices and Services business to Microsoft in a desperate move to get out of that business. Instead, the N1 is made by Chinese contract manufacturing company Foxconn.

Nokia is nowhere in the picture. Foxconn will be handling the sales, distribution and customer care for the device. Nokia is licensing the brand, the industrial design, Z Launcher software layer and IP on a running royalty basis to Foxconn.

N1 is a bog standard tablet. The device is powered by Android 5.0, aka Lollipop. N1 showcases a 7.9-inch 2048×1536 resolution screen with a full anodized aluminium body. Tt is using the industry standard Type-C USB reversible connector, but otherwise it is a standard high-performance tablet.

It runs Intel’s 64-bit Atom Processor Z3580 at 2.3 GHz and will have 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The device has an 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front camera.

But it is also unlikely to be seen in the US. Nokia is targeting China with N1, where it will be available for an estimated $249 in the first quarter of 2015 — around the Chinese New Year.

 

Microsoft waves goodbye to Nokia

Microsoft's Lumia 535Software giant Microsoft released its Lumia 535 and 535 dual SIM smartphones yesterday, confirming news that it has decided to drop the Nokia brand name.

Both phones run Windows Phone 8.1.

The smartphones have a five megapixel front facing camera, a five inch display and will be released into the wild in “key markets” this month.

While pricing will vary depending on the different territories and operators, Microsoft predicts a typical retail price will be around 110 Euro.

The phones come in bright flashy colours like bright green and bright orange, but there are more sober hues too, such as cyan, white, dark grey and black.

Bundled with the phones are Skype, a pre-installed Office suite, 15GB of its cloud storage – One Drive, It also comes with Outlook and a personal “assistant” called Experience Cortana.

Nokia deal created anti-trust issues for Microsoft and Samsung

samsung-hqSamsung has told a court that its collaboration with Microsoft on Windows phones raised antitrust problems once Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business.

The filing comes from Microsoft’s lawsuit accusing Samsung of breaching a business collaboration agreement. It claimed that Samsung still owes $6.9 million in interest on more than $1 billion in patent royalties it delayed paying.

However Samsung said the Nokia acquisition violated its 2011 deal with Microsoft because it effectively required the sharing of secret information with a rival.

Samsung said it agreed in 2011 to pay Microsoft royalties in exchange for a patent license covering Samsung’s Android phones.

Samsung agreed to develop Windows phones and share confidential business information with Microsoft as part of that collaboration. Microsoft said it would reduce the royalty payments if Samsung met certain sales goals for Windows devices.

Once Microsoft acquired Nokia, it became a direct hardware competitor with Samsung, the filing said, and the South Korean company refused to continue sharing some sensitive information because if it had done so it would have breached US antitrust laws.

The agreements, now between competitors, invited charges of collusion,” Samsung said in the filing.

Antitrust regulators in the United States and other countries have approved Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition.

Microsoft waves goodbye to Nokia

nokia-lumiaThe Nokia brand name can’t be worth very much because Microsoft is going to ditch it from its line of phones.

It originally planned to use the Nokia name for as long as 10 years but freshly fledged CEO Satya Nadella is obviously revisiting just about everything ex-CEO Steve Ballmer had committed to.

Microsoft bought Nokia for a rather expensive $4.6 billion but the former Finnish mobile phone unit had already seen its fortunes wane.

Microsoft already had a mobile phone division so plenty of people scratched their heads and wondered why it even bothered to pay that much money for a firm that had seen its day.

Microsoft is currently going through a gigantic culling exercise which will see over 12,000 people lose its jobs.

Microsoft, like its long time partner Intel, has never really hit it big in the mobile phone market.

Future phones will be sold under the name of Microsoft Lumia, it appears.

Microsoft shows off three smartphones

skippieSoftware giant Microsoft said it has released Nokia Lumia smartphones all using the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

The Lumia 830 comes with a 10 megapixel PureView camera that uses Zeiss optics, comes with Office Mobile, and 15GB of free OneDrive storage.  It will cost around £300 or so.

The Lumia 730 Dual SIM and Lumia 735 have front facing wide angle five megapixel cameras, and are intended to be used for Microsoft Skype – both of these will be introduced this month and cost around £200 or so.  They both come with 15GB of free OneDrive storage.

Microsoft also introduced Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10 which lets you beam content from a smartphone to an HDMI screen.

It has also updated Lumia Denim for the 930, Lumia Icon and the Lumia 1520.

Samsung teams up with Nokia

arr_treasureSamsung and Nokia have signed an agreement to bring Nokia’s HERE mapping service to Samsung’s shiny toys.

Apparently HERE for Android will be initially exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone line, and it will also be bringing a mini version of HERE to Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches, including the newly-announced Samsung Gear S.

HERE was the love child of Nokia’s Ovi mapping service and Navteq, which was another purchase from the former rubber boot maker. HERE is one of the main competitors to Google Maps and powers Yahoo Maps, Bing Maps, Amazon Maps, and Garmin GPS devices.

For those who came in late this deal has nothing to do with Microsoft, which only bought Nokia’s “Devices & Services” division. The remaining parts of the company deal with maps, cellular networking technology, and R&D.

But the move will take Samsung further away from the Google ecosystem. Nokia’s business model is to charge for access to the map data, which presumably is what Samsung is doing, plus a little more to get HERE for Android as an exclusive.  However Samsung loses money for every user of its map app, while Google makes money from flogging its adverts.

 

Nokia buys a bit of Panasonic

panasonicThe bit of Nokia, which is not busy merging with Microsoft, has just written a cheque for a slice of Panasonic’s electronics business.

The former rubber boot maker, which sold off its phone unit said it will buy Panasonic’s mobile phone wireless base station system business for operators as well as related wireless equipment system business.

No one is saying how much Nokia paid for it but the company expects to have completed the transaction by early 2015.

Nokia made 5.5 billion euros when it sold its phone division to Microsoft three months ago. Meanwhile Nokia has been buying up other businesses such as the Chicago-based SAC Wireless.

Japan is one of the new Nokia’s most important mobile network market areas and it controls a quarter of the Japanese market. This acquisition will bring that up to about one third.

Rauhala suggests that while this is not a “giant deal”, it is probably worth tens of millions of euros.

Panasonic is short of cash at the moment and needs the readies.

 

 

Microsoft’s Nokia plans as clear as mud

cunning-planFor a while we had been wondering what Microsoft was doing with its Nokia purchase. For the last week, Vole has been doing its best to slim down the former maker of rubber boots, but there did not seem to be much logic to it.

When the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve “there is a kind of hush” Ballmer wrote a $7 billion cheque for the company we all wondered how an elephant like Vole was going turn around a giant Lemming like Nokia.

Nokia cost Microsoft eight cents from its earnings per share last quarter, but the costs are starting be contained.

CEO Satya Nadella, who replaced Steve Ballmer in February expects Nokia to break even by 2016.

The plan appears to be to focus on high and low cost Windows smartphones, suggesting a phasing out of feature phones and Android smartphones.

Two business units, smart devices and mobile phones, would become one, thereby cutting overlap and overhead. Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland.

It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary; shift to lower cost areas like Manaus, Brazil and Reynosa, Mexico; and reduce manufacturing in Beijing and Dongguan, China.

Expected to die will be the Nokia X Android phones, Asha and Series 40 phones.

Nadella said that devices, he said, “go beyond” hardware and are about productivity. “I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognised and into OneNote in searchable fashion. There is a lot we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity.”

It would seem that Redmond wants the sale of a smartphone to mean other sales.

This all makes sense when you factor in Microsoft’s goal to have the next generation of Windows, Windows 9 as a single operating system.

This would mean then that while Nokia might lose the smartphone market it will have a new role driving network access to corporate cloud systems.

Microsoft vows to end Nokia losses

nokia-lumiaSoftware giant Microsoft said that it will get its loss-making Nokia phone unit to break even within two years.

Bringing in Nokia into the Vole hill cost Microsoft a seven percent dip in quarterly profit and Redmonds chief financial Vole Amy Hood said that the company plans to take $1 billion in costs out of the Nokia operation and stop its losses by fiscal 2016 following massive job cuts announced last week.

This statement pacified the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street who did not expect Vole to act that quickly to stop Nokia haemorrhaging Microsoft’s bottom line.

Microsoft shares hit new 14-year highs over the past week, and were up 1.1 percent at $45.33 after hours.

Nokia’s Lumia smartphones, while well-reviewed, have not been as successful as Microsoft hoped, capturing no more than four percent of the global market. Lumia sales hit 5.8 million for the nine weeks of the quarter that Nokia was part of Microsoft.

Vole is in the process of drastically reducing Nokia’s operation, closing some facilities and cutting about half of its 25,000 workforce, as it looks to rein in costs and refocus on cloud-computing.

The fact that the PC market recovered after two years of declines, helped sales of Microsoft’s core Windows and Office products in the quarter.

Overall quarterly revenue rose 17 percent to $23.38 billion, above analysts’ average estimate of $23 billion, although the bulk of that was due to the addition of sales from Nokia.

Microsoft reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $4.61 billion compared with $4.96 billion last year.