Light Reading

Microsoft Officially Closes Nokia Buy

Sarah Thomas
4/25/2014
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Nokia's devices division is now officially part of Microsoft, wrapping up a deal first announced last September and giving Microsoft its own device business for its Windows Phone operating system.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) confirmed it has completed its more than $7 billion acquisition of the Finnish smartphone maker on Friday, enabling it to "accelerate its share of smartphones and feature phones in developed and emerging markets, and increase its role as a devices and services company." (See Nokia Sale to Microsoft Expected to Close This Week, Euronews: Nokia Handsets Sale Delayed and Nokia: It's Really Happening.)

Nokia said in a release that the total transaction price is expected to be slightly higher than the previously announced €5.44 billion ($7.52 billion) after final adjustments have been made.

The two companies first became partners early in 2011. Even though Microsoft has licensing deals in place with others such as Samsung Corp. and High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) -- deals it hopes to continue -- Nokia already accounts for 90% of the Windows Phone devices on the market.

In addition to its phone business, the software giant is acquiring Nokia's design team, most of its manufacturing and assembly facilities and operations (minus manufacturing plants in India and South Korea now excluded from the deal), and sales and marketing support. It will also license its patents.

According to Tom Gibbons, the Microsoft corporate vice president who is responsible for the Nokia integration, the combined company already has a joint operating plan established and Nokia feature phones will start to have more Microsoft services on them right away. It is targeting growth in emerging markets where Android dominates.

Microsoft didn't delve into other specific plans for Nokia, but a leaked letter suggests it will be leaving behind the once iconic Nokia name in favor of "Microsoft Mobile."

Nokia is also expected to announce Rajeev Suri as CEO of what's left of the company, including the NSN infrastructure unit, location services business, and its patents, when it shares its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/25/2014 | 11:34:06 AM
What's in a name?
Do you think it's smart to get rid of the Nokia name? I wonder if it still carries cache in some geographies, or at least more than Microsoft Mobile. I think it needs to be a market-by-market decision. 
thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 11:49:24 AM
Re: What's in a name?
As a tech nerd who grew up in the 90s Nokia will always be associated with phones that just wont break. Though I think those even just slightly younger than me might not have the same memories. 

I once had a Nokia phone in my jacked pocket while riding my bike. A car hit me head on and the phone broke in half inside my pocket. When the rescue took me to the hospital they cut off all my cloths, including my jacket and gave them back to me at discarge from the ER along with a pair of scrubs to ride home. I put the two parts of the phone back together over the battery and was able to make a call to my friend. I taped it together and used it like that for the next 2 weeks until I got a new one. 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 12:00:57 PM
Re: What's in a name?
I personally think it's a fine idea to phase out the Nokia name and rebrand the whole thing.  I rather hope that Microsoft improves significantly upon Nokia's technology too.  I had owned numerous Nokia phones in my time; eventually my dissatisfaction got the better of me once I discovered that there was a better world of cell phones out there waiting for me.  Indeed, the main reason I haven't switched over to a Windows phone is because I didn't want to deal w/ a Nokia again.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 12:04:01 PM
Re: What's in a name?
Glad you're okay after your accident!

One Nokia I owned just broke out of the blue...to the point that when I called people, it was making horrendous, creepy, whispering/staticy sounds.  (I still have a sound file of it saved somewhere on an old computer.)

Before I realized the problem, I wound up permanently creeping out an old friend of mine when I called her, she hung up on me, and I called her again -- ignorant to why she sounded so freaked out.

She seemed understanding once I was able to talk to her again in person when I explained the problem, but we didn't really talk much after that.
thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 12:10:01 PM
Re: What's in a name?
Thanks Joe, 

And no doubt Nokia was never on the cutting edge of any mobile technology. At best they were several years behind everyone else. (Except maybe Nextel)

If you come across that old sound file share it on here I would get a kick out of it. :-)
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 2:25:01 PM
Re: What's in a name?
@thebulk I'm not sure that's true. I would think that in the early years they were cutting edge, but they lost that edge.
thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 2:29:02 PM
Re: What's in a name?
@Ariella, Maybe you are right, I just dont remember it that way. I had maybe 3 Nokia phones over the years. My favorite being the Nokia 6800 which had a pretty cool flip keyboard for SMS, when people still used that. But I can always recall there being other companies with phones that had much nicer and more advanced features. 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 2:48:13 PM
Re: What's in a name?
@thebulk according to this http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/how-nokia-went-from-a-position-of-domination-to-abandoning-its-handset-business-444466, Nokia was the dominant player back in 2007. But the article doesn't really go into detail about how it measured up to the cutting edge. 
thebulk
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thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 3:04:41 PM
Re: What's in a name?
@Ariella, 

Thanks for the link, what a great read! I had not realized they were so dominate that late in the game, I would have guessed they started to fall around 2005, maybe even earlier. 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/25/2014 | 3:28:32 PM
Re: What's in a name?
@thebulk you're most welcome. It's possible some date the decline earlier, saying that they still had the market share but were doomed by that year. I would have to look into it more to ascertain that, as I'm not an expert on Nokia. 
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