Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry is considering pulling out of the smartphone business which made it a household name.
BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen revealed the Canadian company was looking to further reduce the phones they release a year, dropping it from about four phones a year to about one or two.
While this is done as a means to cut costs, the signs are the decline of BlackBerries might not stop there.
BlackBerry has hinted that it is willing to exit the smartphone market should its turnaround efforts fail. Already the company is shifting its strategy, moving beyond hardware and starting to concentrate in software and security.
Chen also notes that competing with Chinese and Indian OEMs for the lower-end market isn’t ideal.
He said the low-end phone is not BlackBerry’s “sweet spot” and that high-end gear aimed at the working professional would be more profitable.
Blackberry recently announced plans for an Android handset. This could be the company’s last-ditch try at creating hardware and oddly mirrors the approach taken by Nokia before it sold itself to Microsoft.
A survey performed by IHS said that the world is slowly moving to true 4G, but the path of telecommunications is still far from smooth.
Stephane Teral, research director for mobile said “the 4G experience is still far from consistent and is falling short of expectations.
She said that the debate over 5G is being accompanied by “fanfare, hype and confusion, but little substance about what it is exactly and what it is not. For now the mindset is still locked into mobile broadband as we know it with LTE, so it’s good that the ITU has just stepped in to define 5G in its brand new IMT-2020”.
She said Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia are the top LTE (4G) equipment manufacturers. And commercial voice over LTE (VoLTE) will ramp in volume this year and next year.
And although vendors are talking about 4G network functions virtualisation migration, Teral said that won’t happen very fast because most LTE networks are new, and mobile operators simply aren’t ready to migrate.
Former rubber boot maker Nokia confirmed that it may start designing and licensing mobile phone handsets under its brand name in 2016.
Nokia has not made any smartphones since selling that part of its business to Microsoft in 2014. Vole was unable to make any cash from it and wrote off most of its investment last week.
Under the deal Nokia had with Microsoft it would not be allowed to sell smartphones under its own name until 2016. Microsoft had long planned to ship phones under its own name by that point.
Microsoft had hoped that the Nokia sale would allow it to make up for its late entry into the mobile market. However that, along with an abortive attempt to mobilise Windows turned out to be a disaster.
Nokia said it was looking for a partner who would take on the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for the products. There is no indication what operating system it will be using.
Software company Microsoft said today it will lay off seven percent of its workforce, and put 7,800 people onto the dole queue.
It also said it will write off $7.6 billion related to its acquisition of Nokia’s phone business last year, prompting serious questions – asked at the time – as to why it ever took over the unit in the first place. Microsoft’s strength is not in smartphones and it has a tiny share of the market, just like Intel.
Microsoft is now engaged in an energetic move to re-engineer its businesses. Satya Nadella, the company’s CEO, said he was expecting to cut 18,000 jobs at Microsoft but these 7,800 jobs are incremental to that total.
Over a third of the redundancies will happen in Finland, the home of Nokia.
Microsoft finds itself between a rock and a hard place and is finding it hard to pitch itself as a cloud company because there are already powerful players in that sector and the Redmond company is rather late to the game, compared to Amazon and to IBM.
The firm will announce its fourth quarter financial results later this month and will include a “restructuring” charge of close to $800 million. “Restructuring” means compensation Microsoft will have to pay to the people it has put out of work.
But job cuts are welcome on Wall Street – Microsoft’s share price rose today on confirmation of the additional loss of jobs.
Software giant Microsoft will initiate a fresh round of job cuts today in a move that underlines the company’s decline of fortune in several sectors.
Microsoft said last year that that it would lay off 18,000 people but, according to the New York Times, more cuts will come in both the hardware division and the smartphone business it bought from Nokia last year.
Newly fledged CEO Satya Nadella has said in the last few months to Microsoft employees that “tough choices” had to made in several divisions.
Rather like Intel, Microsoft has for years struggled to make a dent in the smartphone business and last year’s buy of Nokia’s smartphone unit for over $7 billion doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference to its tiny market share.
But Microsoft cannot lose face by exiting the smartphone business completely. That’s a component of its strategy to launch Windows 10 on devices including PCs, tablets and telephones.
The New York Times added that Microsoft may well seek to write off a large proportion of its Nokia buy in the buildup to its next financial earnings report.
Software giant Microsoft has decided that it has had enough of the display advertising business and is giving it to AOL to sort out.
Instead Microsoft will focus on its growing search advertising business based around its Bing search engine.
Microsoft, which employs hundreds of people in its display ad business around the world, said those employees would be offered the chance to transfer to AOL and that it was not making any layoffs.
Microsoft’s MSN web portal and Bing, have lost more than $10 billion over the past five years. Chief Executive Satya Nadella has said Bing will turn a profit next fiscal year.
“Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services,” said Microsoft in a statement.
Under a 10 year deal struck with AOL, the outfit will sell display ads on MSN, Outlook.com, Xbox, Skype and in some apps in major countries. As part of the deal, Bing will become the search engine behind web searches on AOL starting next year.
Microsoft also struck a multi-year extension to its existing deal with AppNexus, which provides the tech platform for buyers to purchase online ads.
Redmond has also signed over part of its mapping unit to Uber which will see the taxi company take over the part of Microsoft’s mapping unit that works on imagery acquisition and map data processing. Uber will offer jobs to the 100 or so Microsoft employees working in that area.
Uber uses a combination of map services from Google, Apple and Baidu already and apparently has no plans to stop this.
Microsoft will no longer collect mapping imagery itself, but it will continue to work with imagery providers for underlying data on its own maps. Microsoft already gets much of its map data from Finland’s Nokia.
For the second time in his career, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is leaving Microsoft although this time it is part of a management restructuring.
A former vole, Elop was behind the moves to get Nokia into the Vole Hill which lead to some cynics suspecting he was a plant by Microsoft to take over the company in return for a cushy job.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees that Microsoft was adjusting its engineering efforts .
“This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace.” and capacities to convey on our method and, specifically, our three center desire,” the memo says. “This change will empower us to convey better items and administrations that our clients love at a more fast pace.”
This means that Microsoft will be showing Elop the door. He had been in charge of Microsoft’s Lumia gadgets subsequent to rejoining the organisation.
Microsoft is presently creating new Lumia gadgets for the autumn after the arrival of Windows 10 Mobile.
“Stephen and I have concurred that now is the opportune time for him to resign from Microsoft,” says Nadella.
Another key exit will be Mark Penn who will leave Microsoft in September. Penn was the main impetus behind Microsoft’s controversial Scroogled battle.
Penn says he is leaving Microsoft to form a private equity fund, but his departure could see him rejoin the political world ahead of the presidential elections. Alongside Elop and Penn, Microsoft executives Kirill Tatarinov and Eric Rudder will also leave as part of a transition period. Tatarinov used to head up Microsoft’s business solutions group, and Ruder was responsible for the company’s advanced strategy.
Microsoft’s reorg will see Windows chief Terry Myerson take on more responsibility. Myerson will take over a new team called the Windows and Devices Group. He will be focused on Microsoft devices and the engineering of Windows. Scott Guthrie will continue to lead the cloud and enterprise teams, and Qi Lu will still manage the applications and services group at Microsoft.
Huawei Technologies has said that it is not bovvered by the merger of telecoms equipment rivals Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent and will maintain its record growth in the EU.
One would think that Huawei would have much to fear from such a merger. The new company will become the Number 2 in wireless behind Sweden’s Ericsson. It will also have a more complete product line encompassing both mobile and fixed-line operations, putting it in a stronger position to compete with Huawei, the leading telecoms equipment maker
But Chief Executive Guo Ping told Reuters welcomed the deal, saying it would spur investment and competition, and expressed optimism about his company’s ability to expand its own network gear business.
He said that the merged company will be much more competitive and for the industry as a whole this is positive.
“This is combining one company that is very strong in the wireless business with another company (that is) very strong in fixed networks,” he added.
Huawei expects lucrative opportunities for its network gear business as more people use smartphones, everyday objects are connected to the web and machines are linked to each other via the Internet, Guo added. He said there could be 100 billion new connections in the next ten years.
He also said that Huawei’s exclusion from the United States over cybersecurity concerns would not stop the company’s growth.
Huawei announced plans for a new research institute in Brussels, signalling its intent to take part in Europe’s race to be at the forefront of the next generation of mobile broadband technology.
The former maker of the rubber boot, Nokia, is facing a revolt from its shareholders over its move to buy the smaller French Alcatel-Lucent telco
Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri defended the terms of its pending acquisition of smaller telecom gear maker after a shareholder slammed them as unacceptable.
Odey Asset Management, Alcatel-Lucent’s second-largest shareholder moaned to other investors that it would not tender its shares in the Nokia takeover because the 15.6 billion euro price in the all-share deal was too low.
Suri said that he had met other shareholders in the last couple weeks, and there’s very strong, good feedback.
He declined to say whether the terms of the deal would be altered, adding only that both boards had already approved them.
“Fundamentally this is a good deal with attractive upside in long-term and upfront,” he said.
Alcatel-Lucent shareholders do not need to vote to ratify the deal since it will go through as long as 51 percent of shares are tendered.
The former rubber boot maker Nokia has done what we predicted and written a cheque for the French Alcatel-Lucent.
Well, we say cheque, but it is pretty much an all-share transaction that values its smaller French rival at $16.6 billion.
Nokia will give each Alcatel-Lucent shareholder 0.55 shares in the combined company for each of their old shares. This will mean that 33.5 percent of the new company will be in Alcatel’s hands and Nokia having 66.5 percent.
The deal still has to go through the regulators and there might be a few problems with the French government saying “non.” Alcatel-Lucent is a French success story and the government is not too happy about foreigners who do not know how to cook properly getting their paws on it.
The deal will be finalised in the first half of 2016 and is expected to result in 900 million euro of operating cost savings by the end of 2019, the companies said on Wednesday.
Nokia has promised to keep France as “a vibrant centre of the combined company” and not to cut jobs beyond what Alcatel had already planned, especially protecting research and development sites at Villarceaux and Lannion.
Alcatel-Lucent has some 6,000 employees in France. Maintaining jobs will be a key demand of the French state for its backing of the deal.
Nokia’s takeover of Alcatel-Lucent will put the fear of Odin into mobile leader Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei which have the market pretty much stitched up like a kipper.
It will have stronger exposure to the important North American market, with key contracts with AT&T and Verizon and a fast-growing Internet routing business.
“The combined company is expected to have a stronger growth profile than Nokia’s current addressable market,” Nokia said, predicting a sales growth rate of about 3.5 percent for 2014 to 2019.
The combined company will have a global wireless market share of 35 percent, second only to Ericsson with 40 percent, and ahead of Huawei at 20 percent.