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Nokia axes another 3,500 jobs

Glum Finns spurned by Redmond

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Nokia is cutting a further 3,500 jobs in Europe as part of its restructuring plan to save the company €1bn in operating expenses by 2013.

The Finnish phone company axed 7,000 jobs in April, with 4,000 people going from Britain, Denmark and Finland and 3,000 Symbian jobs moving from the firm to Accenture.

Today, Nokia announced that 2,200 people would be made redundant after it closes a factory in Cluj in Romania, while a further 1,300 jobs will be lost in its location and commerce business in Bonn in Germany and Malvern in the US.

"We are seeing solid progress against our strategy, and with these planned changes we will emerge as a more dynamic, nimble and efficient challenger," Stephen Elop, president and CEO, said in a canned statement. "We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward."

Nokia also said it was "starting consultations" with employees in sales, marketing and corporate functions.

When it announced the restructuring plan in April this year, the company said that job losses would be seen in phases until the end of 2012.

Nokia is hoping that a concentration of its resources on its partnership with Microsoft will help it regain some ground in the smartphone market, but so far the road to recovery appears to be rocky.

"While Nokia has put its eggs in the Microsoft basket, its Redmond-based partner has not returned the favour. Microsoft has not slowed down to wait for Nokia, as just two weeks ago, USA mobile carrier AT&T announced its launch partners – HTC and Samsung – for the Mango release of Windows Phone 7. Nokia was noticeably absent from that list," said Frost & Sullivan ICT analyst Craig Cartier.

"This development brings into question whether the former leading phone manufacturer can, as promised, bring Windows Phone devices to market before the critical holiday sales period of 2011. If not, this announcement might not be the last of the job cuts we hear,” he added. ®

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