The end-game of Nokia’s extraordinary decline and fall has completed. Microsoft has bought Nokia’s handset business for $7.2 billion including a licence fee for Nokia’s patents.
The company had a market cap of $200 billion back in 2000 but, admonishingly, took years to respond to the 2007 introduction of the iPhone.
Long before 2007, Nokia had been experimenting with touch-screens in its labs but rejected the idea of using them in the belief that people wanted conventional keyboards.
In the face of the massive success of the iPhone, Nokia stuck to that view until it was too late.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop failed to stop the decline. He is now returning to Microsoft. A new interim CEO has been appointed for Nokia
32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft.
Nokia will be left with its infrastructure business called Nokia Solutions and Networks where it has had a programme to lay off a quarter of its workforce in the last 18 months.
In terms of units, Nokia had 14% world market share for mobile phones in Q2, second to Samsung’s 26%.