Microsoft rumored to close feature phone business and sell the Nokia name to Foxconn; layoffs coming

Microsoft rumored to close feature phone business and sell the Nokia name to Foxconn; layoffs coming
According to a rumor out of China, after selling only 15 million feature phones during the first quarter of this year, Microsoft is closing the division and will license the Nokia name to contract manufacturer Foxconn. Under the terms of its acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services a deal which closed in 2014, Microsoft owns the rights to use the Nokia name for smartphones until 2024.

If you're looking for further hints that a Surface Phone is coming, the same rumor says that after closing its feature phone group, the remaining part of Microsoft Mobile (which produces Lumia handsets) will be folded into the Surface group. 50% of Microsoft Mobile employees will be laid off.

As we've been noting for some time now, Microsoft makes more money licensing its Android patents than it earns by selling Windows Phones. But the success of the Surface Pro tablet has led Microsoft fans to believe that Panos Panay and his team will be able to come up with better phone designs.

Since the division was sold to Microsoft, the Nokia division that became Microsoft Mobile has axed 18,000 employees. If this rumor is legit, that total will soon be rising.

source: VTech (translated) via  MSPoweruser

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49 Comments

1. Diego!

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

I hate Microsoft. I loved Windows Phone 8 & WP8.1 but the lack of updates makes me hate Windows 10 Mobile. It's buggy as F.

2. Kumar123 unregistered

I hate that baldly Steve Ballmer and his lackey trojan horse Stephen Elop for killing Nokia. IMO, that baldly, short slighted Steve Ballmer is the reason microsoft smartphone business is almost dead now. Die bitch Ballmer and Elop. Just die.

10. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!

11. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Totally false info Alan F. According to the acquisition agreement of Nokia's Devices and Services, Microsoft has the right to use Nokia brand for 10 years only on feature phones, and two years for the smartphones (Mid 2016). That's why they dropped Nokia's brand from Lumia series!

23. shieryar

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

Now I am confused. 2016 or 2024

26. ToastedBacon21

Posts: 47; Member since: Oct 18, 2015

Nothing to be confused. 2024 for dumbphones, 2016 for smart ones.

33. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Correct, that's why a lot of Nokia fans were hoping for a real Nokia smartphone in 2017

53. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

without anything of their former self, or manufacturing, it would be a foxconn device not much more

13. Rafishant

Posts: 396; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

This will never happen. Microsoft doesn't own Nokia name. Nokia licensed its brand to Microsoft for feature phones only till 2024, so Microsoft doesn't have the right to licence Nokia brand to any party.

16. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Agree. How could you sell something that you don't have!

19. jojon

Posts: 433; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

correct

43. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Sound like a delusional Nokia fanboy huh? Now let's suppose that Microsoft won't be selling Nokia name to other, then Nokia finally makes a comeback. Does it mean it will automatically regain the top spot again? Absolutely not. Which OS is Nokia going to run, Android? No, it's too late because the market is already saturated and Samsung owns it.

50. epdm2be

Posts: 819; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Remember: When your at the top, the only way is down! Also: "Things can go haywire really quickly!" Ask that to any ex-Nokia-employee... And don't forget: that's thousands of people MORE that will NEVER buy a Microsoft phone ever again! That's at least over 80000 people by now, who'll not only never buy a Microsoft smartphone but also influence their friends, family and relatives not to buy a Windows Phone either. This could lead to millions of potential customers whom boycott Windows Phones and influence even more millions to follow their example. And those morons at Redmond still don't get it! If you treat people like shit then shit is gonna head your way!

15. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 402; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Im not sure if you'retelling the truth, but my 950xl has gotten more updates then I can count on one hand and as it stands windows 10 mobile has surpassed 8.1 stop spreading the false message.

18. sgodsell

Posts: 7215; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The Windows 10 Mobile devices market share would tell another truth. Especially since WP/W10M sales have dropped down to 1% of the sale of new smartphones.

22. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

The argument wasn't market share. It was how many updates he/she got. Don't deflect.

25. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

Surpassing 8.1 isn't anything to brag about. Windows 10 is still lackluster. I haven't used BB10, but I'd bet it's either a better or equal experience than Windows.

28. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

you are wrong @aVSa..... Windows 950XL is far better than anyphone in the market now. the only problem is lack of apps (specially google native aps) that most teenage group use for.... for corporate use and entertanment it is really good phone..... no lag, excellent performance... Every platform has its pro and cons... no platform is prefect, if u believe in one, then i would say u dont know about the mobile operating system at all...........

29. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

My Note 5 was a better phone than the 950XL. Better screen, better battery life, better camera, better OS. I'll admit Windows Mobile is about as smooth as iOS, which I am using now. But other than it having a very quick interface, the lack of apps and the services compared to Android/iOS I won't be switching back soon. When I had a Windows phone, I honestly used my phone so much less than I had before, because there wasn't much to do on it.

48. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

You like your Note 5, that's great. But to say it has a better camera than the 950 is simply bull. PureView is still the leader in smartphone imaging. Better battery life? Better get off that meth.

55. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

I believe it scored better battery life results on PhoneArena in comparison to the 950XL, but here is the GSMARENA test since many find them to be better reviewers. http://www.gsmarena.com/battery-test.php3?idPhone=7454#show The cameras were rated the same, but the battery life on the Note 5 is by far better, among many reviews. I'm not biased. My opinions are generally supported by fact.

45. chancooluk

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 13, 2015

The lack of updates? Windows 10 mobile gets updated every month on patch Tuesday with bug fixes and new features. That's way more updates than either Android or iOS.

49. sgodsell

Posts: 7215; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Android Nexus devices get a monthly update as well.

3. rkoforever90

Posts: 435; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Now that's how you destroy a company. Why did Microsoft bought the phone division in first place, Nokia should have sold it to someone like Samsung or Lenovo who knows the business

30. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

if they would have paid so much money as microsoft did, they would have... and then why would samsung or lenovo need "nokia" brand name, they already have there own mobile division?

4. newuser1

Posts: 276; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

what is happening? I am confused? is Microsoft giving up the whole windows phone? the long waited surface is not coming at all after making people waiting all those years?

17. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

no, they sell nokia name to foxconn and foxconn get the rights to make feature phone under nokia name.. lumia still with microsoft mobile, and will become surface phone soon enough

36. maxha97

Posts: 100; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Smart phone=/= feature phone Feature phone is basic phone which doesn't equipped with smartphone os. It just does some basic features

5. seh82

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

You mean *feature phones til 2024, not smartphones. Nokia can start using its name on smartphones again as early as Q4 this year.

8. emvxl

Posts: 140; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

I am confused. In this article, it says "Microsoft owns the rights to use the Nokia name for smartphones until 2024". But I thought Nokia (the real Nokia, not the fake Microsoft Nokia) can stark making smartphones this year.

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