Tag: nokia

Angry Bird called in to save new Nokia

bird_bombThe outfit which is the proud owner of the Nokia  brand has hired the bloke who created the the Angry Birds franchise to give it some street cred.

Nokia signed an agreement that essentially licensed its brand to HMD Global Oy, a newly founded Finnish company that planned to create phones  which would be manufactured and distributed by Foxconn.

Now HMD has hired Pekka Rantala, the one-time CEO of Angry Birds creator Rovio, who stepped down in 2015 after tough time with the mobile gaming company. He actually did a lengthy stint at Nokia from 1994 to 2011 and knows his onions.  Apparently he will be signing up as the Chief Marketing Officer for the company.

HMD  is currently run by Nokia vet Arto Nummela who has not said how he will save the mobile company. The Nokia deal provides the company with naming and patent rights, in exchange for royalty payments. Nokia is providing some oversight via a position on the company’s board, though it’s not investing directly in HMD, as per the deal.

Telcos try to blackmail the EU

KraysEuropean telcos are having a go at blackmailing the EU by saying they will only bring in 5G if the community abandons its net neutrality rules.

A group of 20 major telcos including Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Vodafone, and BT has said that it will launch 5G networks in every country in the European Union by 2020 — so long as governments decide to weaken net neutrality rules.

In a pretty blunt and open extortion plan called the “5G Action Plan.” They say that 5G will change the world giving shedloads of benefits in cars, health, public safety, smart city, and entertainment scenarios by 2018. To add insult to injury they also want the EU to invest in it.

However the companies are also pushing for what they call the “right regulatory environment,” which would involve addressing the “dangers” that would come with open internet policies.

“The EU must reconcile the need for open Internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation. The telecom industry warns that current net neutrality guidelines, as put forward by BEREC [the Body of European Regulators], create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment. Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it.”

“The EU must reconcile the need for open internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation.””

So far the EU has already told the telcos to sling their hook and rejected amendments to legislation passed last fall that would have protected net neutrality in Europe. The laws currently feature loopholes that allow so-called “specialised services” like self-driving cars and medical operation to hop onto internet fast lanes.

So far supporters of the manifesto include companies like Airbus, Siemens, and Phillips. The EU’s Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Gunther Oettinger, praised the document, stating, “The manifesto is a valuable input for the 5G action plan that will be presented in September, together with the proposal for the review of the telecom regulatory framework.”

However, we are not quite sure if he read it properly. Unless the telcos can make commissioners interested in their plan to hold the web hostage it is pretty likely that the EU will see it in the following manner – the telcos will make a fortune out of 5G and it is in their competitive interest to adopt the technology as soon as possible. They can did this with or without an open internet and it is better for EU citizens to have an open internet.

This does not apply to the UK of course. Now it has Brexited, it no longer has any protection from the telco gangsters.


Microsoft has angered the Finns

the-sharks-are-circlingSoftware giant Microsoft has finally got the Finns cross over how it hacked about Nokia’s mobile unit before casting it adrift.

Microsoft has recently announced a new round of job layoffs at its Mobile unit in Finland, as it moves forward with its restructuring and reorganization plan following the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit.

The Finnish government though is unhappy about the way that Vole has carried you the restructuring saying the outfit has a huge responsibility to help those who are being let go.

Microsoft’s latest job cut round included 1,850 people, 1,350 of whom are said to be working in Finland.

Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said that he was disappointed because of the promises made by Microsoft who had promised him that a new data centre would suck up a large number of the job losses. However this does not appear to have happened.

In 2013, when Microsoft purchased Nokia’s Devices and Services business, the company promised to invest $250 million in a data centre located in Finland that was specifically meant to provide services to European customers. Construction of the data centre never started.

And yet, Finland accuses Microsoft of contributing to the economic downturn that affects the country, as the company fired thousands of people under its restructuring plan and closed facilities that were once among the most successful in Europe.

The research and development centre in Salo was shut down by Microsoft, turning the city into what many described as a “ghost town.” The local facility started operations in the mid-1980s, and its closure dramatically impacted the city, with local sources revealing that “schools are closing, restaurants are mostly empty, and youths worried that they won’t be able to find jobs.”

Employment Minister Jari Lindstrom said Vole must bear as big a responsibility as possible over what they have done by laying off people.

Microsoft has not said anything but then again that is pretty much what anyone would expect.  Vole wants to put the whole Nokia fiasco behind it.

Wintel: smartphones continue to crash

Microsoft campusMicrosoft is expected to lay off nearly 2,000 people after its disastrous acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business as it dawns on the software giant that it’s never going to make headway in the market.

Both Microsoft and Intel seriously believed at one time that they could stitch up the smartphone business as effectively as they controlled the PC business at one time.

But the hard fact that both firms are beginning to recognise is that they haven’t a snowball in hell’s chance of gaining a grip on this sector of the IT market.

Microsoft’s latest announcement today that it will lay off 1,850 people follows an Intel announcement just a few weeks back that it would lay off 11 percent of people to make ends meet.

The giants have taken a while to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that neither of them really matter in the slightest in an industry dominated by cheap chips and better products.

Microsoft bought Nokia’s smartphone business for a colossal $7.2 billion just two years ago and last year cut nearly 8,000 jobs.

The latest job cuts will come in Finland and the $950 million it writes off today will mean it has to pay nearly a quarter of that sum in redundancy payments.

Last week Microsoft said it would sell off a chunk of its phone business to a division of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn.

Nokia gets back in the phone business

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsFormer rubber boot maker Nokia is back in the mobile phone and tablet business after flogging its previous loss making empire to Microsoft which trashed it.

Nokia has announced plans that will see the Nokia brand return to the mobile phone and tablet markets on a global basis. Under a strategic agreement covering branding rights and intellectual property licensing, Nokia Technologies will grant HMD global Oy (HMD), a newly founded company based in Finland, an exclusive global licence to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years.

Under the agreement, Nokia Technologies will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of Nokia-branded mobile products, covering both brand and intellectual property rights.

HMD will provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones and tablets. HMD has conditionally agreed to acquire from Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia brand on feature phones, and certain related design rights.

These agreements would make HMD the sole global licensee for all types of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

Apparently HMD intends to invest over $500 million over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, funded via its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.

HMD’s new smartphone and tablet portfolio will be based on Android, uniting one of the world’s iconic mobile brands with the leading mobile operating system and app development community.

FIH Mobile Limited (FIH), a Foxconn subsidiary has bought the remainder of Microsoft’s feature phone business assets, including manufacturing, sales and distribution. HMD and Nokia Technologies have signed an agreement with FIH to establish a collaboration framework to support the building of a global business for Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

This agreement will give HMD full operational control of sales, marketing and distribution of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, with exclusive access to the pre-eminent global sales and distribution network to be acquired from Microsoft by FIH, access to FIH’s world-leading device manufacturing, supply chain and engineering capabilities, and to its growing suite of proprietary mobile technologies and components.

Nokia will provide HMD with branding rights and cellular standard essential patent licenses in return for royalty payments, but will not be making a financial investment or holding equity in HMD.

HMD’s new CEO will be Arto Nummela who previously held senior positions at Nokia and is currently the head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa and Microsoft’s global Feature Phones business. HMD’s president will be Florian Seiche, who is currently Senior Vice President for Europe Sales and Marketing at Microsoft Mobile, and previously held key roles at Nokia, HTC and other global brands.

Microsoft to license Nokia brand to Foxconn

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsMicrosoft is going to license the Nokia brand to Foxconn and shut down its operations.

Microsoft and Nokia struck a deal in 2014 and the terms of acquisition read that the Windows developer owns full rights for the Nokia brand for smartphones until 2024.

Vole gutted the Nokia brand and totally failed to make any money from it. In the first quarter of 2016, Microsoft only managed to sell 15 million handsets.

The move, which has yet to be announced, will see half of the remaining Microsoft Mobile members getting the boot and the rest joining the Vole’s Surface team. , and rumours already permeate the media about a possible Surface Phone in tow.

For one thing, Microsoft owns the site www.surfacephone.com. For another, the company is aware that the handset market is consistent and diverse, with developing countries being a gold mine for affordable smartphone manufacturers.

The question is what would Foxconn want with a Nokia licence and would anyone buy a Nokia phone from the outfit? Wasting money on Nokia was one of the shy and retired former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s silliest ideas.

Former rubber boot maker faces hard times

Gold-Rush-Eating-boots-N_54The former rubber boot maker Nokia has seen the net sales of telecoms equipment fall more than expected in the first quarter.

It has warned that earnings in its mainstay business would decline this year due to weakening demand for mobile gear in key markets. In its first unified earnings report since taking control of rival Alcatel-Lucent in January, Nokia also nudged up its cost-cutting target for the merger.

It said that it was seeking savings of “above” $1 billion in the course of 2018, compared with “approximately” a $1 billion previously.

Net sales at the combined networks business dropped eight percent in the first quarter from a year ago to $5.90 billion, Nokia said on Tuesday, missing analysts’ average forecast of $6.28 billion.

Nokia said it expected networks sales in the full year to decline due to weak investing by mobile operators as well as its focus on integrating Alcatel-Lucent.

Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said while our revenue decline was disappointing, the shortfall was largely driven by mobile networks, where the challenging environment is not a surprise.”

First-quarter net sales fell 17 percent in North America, the company’s largest market, while declining 11 percent in the Middle East, 6 percent in Asia-Pacific and 5 percent in China.

It forecast a full-year operating margin of above 7 percent for the networks business, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 9.4 percent and 6.5 percent in the first quarter.

Analysts expect the margin to rise to 11.6 percent by 2018 once the cost cuts from the merger have been completed.

Nokia started the cost-cutting program last month, saying it was planning to axe thousands of jobs worldwide, including 1,400 in Germany and 1,300 in Finland.


Top musicians look for medical cures

peter-gabriel-850-100Muscians Peter Gabriel, St. Vincent , Jon Hopkins, and Esa-Pekka Salonen are helping an initiative headed up by former Nokia design head Marko Ahtisaari — explore the future of musical medicine.

The four musicians are going to help The Sync Project as advisors, roles that’ll necessitate working with the scientists researching music’s therapeutic properties and helping to raise the project’s awareness.

Gabriel and St. Vincentare art-rock veterans, Hopkins is an accomplished electronic producer, and Salonen conducts the London Philharmonia Orchestra. However Ahtisaari is more interested in their value as thinkers than their musical legends.

He said that he needed musicians and creators who have an active relationship with technology. It wasn’t so much about the contents of the music, or to commission any work, it was because they were creative thinkers.

The idea is to build a biometric recommendation engine for music and create musical treatment programs for medical conditions that match the efficacy of drug-based treatment without subjecting patients to the dangers and side effects of pharmacological programs.

Ahtisaari cites treatment for Parkinson’s disease as an example. Users could contribute data from their streaming service of their choice and sensors from their phones or wearable devices that characterize their physical response to certain music.

Collected in bulk, that data could inform more specific clinical trials testing the effects of various musical qualities on patient mobility.

The final result would be a personalized playlist, one that aids movement and changes with the patient’s activity.

The project’s musical advisors can’t shape its medical aspects, but Ahtisaari is hoping they can help push the conversation regarding music’s therapeutic potential forward among both musicians and listeners.


Elop provides Aussie Telstra with brains

ElopThe former Microsoft boss who is credited with bringing Nokia to its knees has found a job down under, advising an Aussie telco how to get its act together.

Stephen Elop has been appointed to the new role of Telstra’s Group Executive Technology, Innovation and Strategy,  According to the company press release he will be  “leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company”.

Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company which has been having a few outage problems lately. The former government department has done quite well although it does charge rather a lot for its services.

In a hugely amusing press release, Telstra cites Elop’s “deep technology experience” and “innate sense of customer expectations.”

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Penn said Elop’s new job  brings together aligned lines of business including the Chief Technology Office, Chief Scientist, Telstra Software Group and Corporate Strategy with strong links into product development functions.

Penn is new in the job himself, having taken over on a platform of making the outfit more customer focused.

Elop on the other hand is famous for his his “burning platform” email to Nokia staff in 2011.  He practically destroyed Nokia by telling staff that the company was “standing on a burning platform” and must “change its behavior,” suggesting that the adoption of a non-homegrown platform like Android or Windows Phone 7 is a more realistic possibility.

After he made that the company’s share price went into free fall.  In the end the company was bought by Microsoft and died a death.

Nokia confirms return to smartphone market

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsThe former maker of rubber gear, a company called Nokia, has confirmed that it will be getting back into the mobile market after selling it all off to Microsoft.

The company’s CEO Rajeev Suri told MWC 2016 the company’s plans to return to the mobile market. In fact Nokia did first mention it last year but nothing seemed to have happened.

Suri said that Nokia’s return might not necessarily be in the near future. “There’s no timeline, there’s no rush. It could happen in 2016, it could happen later.”

Apparently the compan is waiting for the right partner and doesn’t want to rush into anything. After all it has just been through one big divorce and it is not happy to do that again for a while.

He also confirmed that Nokia will not be making the phones themselves, but rather license out the brand to a manufacturer, kind of like what Google is doing with its Nexus phones, and they also want to be in control of the process.

“We want to be in a position to design the devices in question with appropriate control measures in case they don’t meet expectations.”

It will be harder to find a partner who will be willing to accept those terms, we guess.