Feeds

Nokia: There will be NO smartphone division selloff to Microsoft

Buyout rumours just won't die

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Rumours that Nokia is about to sell its smartphone division to Microsoft and that CEO Stephen Elop will jump after closing the deal have been denied yet again by the Finnish phone-makers.

The suggestion that Nokia will sell off their crown jewels to Redmond has been rebuffed before, and even had an impact on the markets last year, but despite the Finns repeated denials, the rumour simply won't go away.

The source of the most recent batch of stories is Mobile-Review publisher and Russian tech blogger (Russian and English) Eldar Murtazin, who believes that the deal is imminent and that it will spell the end of the Finnish phone company.

It's not the first time Murtazin has made this claim, nor his first punching match with Nokia honchos, which include a highly publicised punch-up in which the Finnish phonemaker "sicced Russian authorities on him to get back as-yet-unreleased Nokia property". As El Reg pointed out at the time Murtazin first made his claim, he has a decent record of accurately predicting other moves by the company...

According to Murtazin, Elop will meet Microsoft's Steve Ballmer in Las Vegas today, and he alleged on his Twitter account that it wasn't just for a light lunch:

Steve Balmer, Andy Lees and Stephen Elop, Kai Ostamo will meet in Las Vegas to finalize agreement about Nokia smartphone unit. Bye Nokia

Murtazin then went into a little more detail on the supposed arrangements: "Stephen Elop will be resign as Nokia CEO in 2012", adding "(I told that several times but repeat again)".

He said that the Nokia brand wouldn't be used for the new Microsoft smartphones, and that one or two production plants would likely change hands with the deal which he expected in the second half of 2012.

Murtazin said that the cost of maintaining phone-producing plants was starting to tell on Nokia's balance sheets, and that the company couldn't maintain their levels of expenditure.

Microsoft could be interested in Nokia's thick wad of patents and could possibly wish to shore up their hardware capabilities following Google's purchase of of Motorola. Microsoft's track record on hardware is mixed: the XBox has been a big success but a previous attempt at a phone – the teen-focused Kin – flopped in 2009.

Nokia's UK communications manager David Hall denied the rumours once again:

"We have firmly scotched rumours of the smartphone division being sold to Microsoft," he said. "We have knocked them on the head time and time again."

Hall added that he didn't know Stephen Elop's diary so could not confirm whether the Nokia chief was meeting Microsoft hardman Steve Ballmer today or not, though allowed that it was possible that both men would be in town with CES. "If he is it would be in connection with our long-term partnership". ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.