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back to article Huawei to build R&D centre in Nokia’s back yard

Shenzhen-based telecoms giant Huawei has revealed plans to double its European workforce and set up a new R&D centre in Nokia’s backyard of Finland, in a clear sign of the growing global footprint of Chinese smartphone vendors. The firm confirmed to The Reg it will increase staff numbers from 7,000 to around 14,000 in the next …

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Linux

Alternative Site (possibly?)

Could be the former Nokia buildings in Farnborough

Motorway next door and Airport 2km away.

Plus there is a well trained local workforce looking for gainful employment.

Nope I didn't work there. The place was used at times to host the Surrey Linux Users Group meetings.

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Rub salt into the wounds....

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Re: Alternative Site (possibly?)

They're looking at Reading as it's a bit more convenient to get to Vodafone & BT head offices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative Site (possibly?)

On the same business park as Cisco's Reading office - Green Park, I understand.

(I *think* the building they are moving in to is ex-Cisco, too - as Cisco leased a ton of buildings during the boom that they eventually never filled, if you go to Green Park just about every empty building is or very recently was leased by Cisco).

It will make the inter-company park events more interesting...

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Nokia can't blame this on the Chinese being able to compete in terms of manufacturing costs - I'm pretty sure Nokia already gave up making things in Finland, and they're all made in China anyway.

So what's Huawei, and these other companies such as ZTE bringing to the table?

Very, very quick development times. Nothing unique in the way of software, but most people are pleased to see fairly untouched Android on a phone that's easy to root. These quick turnarounds mean they can pump out several new models in the time Nokia had one meeting suggesting the design of the buttons on the phone or some such - and with each iteration they are getting closer to what people want. Maybe not paragons of style, but what kind of prick waves about his phone hoping to get people to drool over the detailed construction?

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FAIL

Fail

Most people do NOT root their phones and have no desire to. Most people aspire to own an iPhone so they can behave like pricks and wave them about.

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Re: Fail

I never said most would, but I'm saying most people don't mind untouched Android - I merely mentioned that it was a bonus that these phones are generally easy to tinker with. Maybe my sentence construction wasn't clear enough.

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Stop

Re: Fail

Common users tend to follow techies choices and advices. Soon Samsung got a hit with the Galaxy II, some friends of mine (iPhone users) started to make questions about Android. Guess what they choose for their next new shiny?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fail

People might start avoiding handsets that had well-known upgradeability problems, especially if reviews mention it. Perhaps this is happening already? They don't have to update it themselves.... plenty commercial workshops.

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And then if Nokia goes tits-up

Huawei will be ready to pick up the pieces.

Hypothetically, of course.

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Paris Hilton

Re: And then if Nokia goes tits-up

*if*?

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Phone 8 UI.s

You can't change anything, what's to customise?

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Re: Windows Phone 8 UI.s

Perhaps they mean putting Windows 8 style (not metro) skin on Android. Seen a few cheap Chinese tablets and phones running Android but with a Windows 8 skin appearing on the market.

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Coat

Is that like a reverse circumcision ?

Where instead of the standard procedure taking you from 4 skin to 0 skin, you go from 4 skin to 8 skin ?

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Anonymous Coward

A master of subtlety, this Mr Sladek.

"stepping up of investment in innovation in Europe because it’s an open market "

Ouch. You know what he means.

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Anonymous Coward

NOK is toast

... it's only a question of time before they run out of cash.

Hanging is too good for Elop!

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Re: NOK is toast

Maybe Nokia are toast. But so will Huawei be if they are going to Finland to focus on UI's.

One of the biggest reasons Nokia are in this mess has been that they have systematically and repeatedly fluffed the user interface despite a competent underlying phone OS. On that basis Finland is the last place on Earth that I would choose for a centre to focus on this.

A bit like opting to locate a food technology centre in North Korea. Looking on the bright side, it's a few further years of employment for ex Nokia staff.

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Re: NOK is toast

I wouldn't say Nokia's staff are useless, but they have had very mixed messages and a bungled product strategy.

They were hanging on to pieces of Symbian as they were still developing Maemo, which looked promising, and the N9 looks like a great device.

Can't blame that on the staff, but only on the management. They've chosen which directions to take, and for a few years, there was no clear direction, and all of them led to products most people weren't that enamoured with.

There are no doubt good engineers there who could contribute something to Huawei.

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Re: NOK is toast

The problem with companies having bad management is that good engineers are likely to move quickly when they've got a chance. I suppose that's what Huawei is betting on.

And to be serious. That "Researching UI"-thing is probably just a cover. If they'd actually put researchers on the problem of mobile UIs, there would probably be a revolution.

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Anonymous Coward

If Nokia wants to survive they need to do two things.

1) Fire Elop.

2) Make the hardware and just put an OS on it. It doesn't matter if it is Android, Sailfish, Bada or Windows Phone. Even better would be if you allowed the user to switch to any of the "free" offerings regardless of what the phone came with.

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