Feeds

Nokia: There will be NO smartphone division selloff to Microsoft

Buyout rumours just won't die

Boost IT visibility and business value

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". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.