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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