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back to article Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

When Microsoft swallowed half of Europe's biggest tech company, it was only a matter of time before it spat something out. And so it has, ending Nokia's thirty-year roller-coaster ride. However, the decision will make tens of million of its customers take a look at Android – surely the last thing Microsoft wanted to happen. …

Bring on the high-end Nokia droids!!!

I think there's still enough love for them that a few decent spec handsets & a competitively priced flagship model with Google apps on-board would easily rob sales from Sammy's S series (lets face it, while Samsung sell a lot of phones the brand name still carries zero kudos) Nokia could even get away with pushing vanilla Android bundled with Navteq based offline maps/satnav and they'd still sell well IMO.

WP exclusivity for the smartphone range was a real kick in the chunks for a lot of long term loyal Nokia customers looking to move forward from Symbian.

</wishful_thinking>

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> Bring on the high-end Nokia droids!!!

+1

If you want to be independent of Google, maps are the killer app that's the hardest to do, and Nokia has them. Search is usually browser-based and can be farmed off to google.

Put a security/privacy sandbox around apps on Android and sell it to business. Do a filtered, advert-free-app store with proper FLOSS and paid apps.

Perhaps do an Apple and produce some decent app software themselves.

but I must stop dreaming...

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"I think there's still enough love for them that..."

The Register commentards think they love Nokia, but for the average punter Nokia has as much resonance as Matsui, Phillips, Bush and other electronics brands from days gone by. Nokia made that phone they got for Christmas in 2002 that they liked.

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Bring it!

Bring on a Nokia N900 upgraded with a NVidia Tegra K1 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and I just may bite.

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Anonymous Coward

"However, the decision will make tens of million of its customers take a look at Android – surely the last thing Microsoft wanted to happen."

No - it will make them look at low end Windows Phone handsets - exactly what Microsoft wants to happen and why they are ditching all of these legacy handsets.

"Since then, all we know is that the growth of Lumia shipments has slipped"

For 1 quarter - primarily because of the gap in releasing the Lumia 930 and 530.

"given that there's no new products expected for a while."

We just got the 930 released this week. The know that the 530 is due this summer. As are the "Tesla" and "Superman" handsets. These are followed on the Nokia roadmap by "McLaren", "Makepeace" and "Dempsey." In late summer / early fall 2015, Nokia will release "Cityman," which is supposedly a new phablet and its new flagship smartphone is codenamed "Talkman.". So I must conclude you really don't have a clue what you are talking about.

"Have Microsoft shareholders got the best out of this decision?"

Microsoft's share price currently at it's highest for the last 14 years or says to me yes.

"were what Microsoft needed to lure the "next billion" consumers to use Microsoft, rather than Google services."

Android is inherently inefficent and insecure. Microsoft have a more efficent and more secure OS in Windows Phone and should leverage it.

"As it is, Nokia customers will now look to Android and Google for their services. Low-cost devices running Google Drive, GMail don't need any on-ramp, they'll be the next devices these punters buy."

No they won't - those same distributors will now we pushing cheap Windows Phone devices.

"Android phones will always be cheaper than Lumias in these markets, even though a like-for-like comparison gives Windows Phone a slight advantage as it needs less memory to perform well."

Seeing as Windows Phone OS is more efficient and requires cheaper hardware, Windows Phone devices will be cheaper.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: > Bring on the high-end Nokia droids!!!

"Put a security/privacy sandbox around apps on Android and sell it to business."

That's like wrapping a turd in tissue paper. Businesses want an OS that's secure out of the box like Windows Phone or Blackberry.

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"Microsoft's share price currently at it's highest for the last 14 years or says to me yes"

RBS were doing so well with their share price too until ......

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"No - it will make them look at low end Windows Phone handsets - exactly what Microsoft wants to happen and why they are ditching all of these legacy handsets."

Utterly ridiculous nonsense! Microsoft's penetration of the smartphone market has remained, and will continue to remain, close to zero. The fact is that no-one wants their ridiculously insecure bloatware any more. Those who can afford to do so are moving away from PCs to Apple. With phones the situation is more complex, but with at least 3 out of every 4 new phones being Android, and Apple still doing quite well, there remains no opportunity whatsoever for M$, even if they do eventually manage to create an acceptably good product. (They have had over 30 years of trying to do that, so far...) Time to market is everything, and every single one of their attempts at the phone market has been off by years, not just months.

You may well ponder why Android unseated Apple as market leader some time back, one of the very few exceptions to the rule in any business, anywhere. (One other was the Japanese car industry practically wiping out Detroit, because the products of Detroit had been utter trash for a very long time, and were regarded as a bad joke everywhere except in the US. M$ will fail for the same reason, their products have been a bad joke to anyone competent in the field of software for a very long time now.) It was not time to market, because Android was rather late. Could it have been value for money, or perhaps just that people were utterly sick of Apple's walled garden approach to everything?

It is interesting that M$ are usually only able to mobilise Anonymous Cowards here, while others, who prefer to debate issues on the facts, not the dictates from Redmond, have the guts to use proper names. If I had posted so much sheer drivel, I would not want my name on it either. I expect that there is, or soon will be, a medical term for being obsessively positive about M$ products in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Oh, and what occupies the majority of the market for servers large and small, supercomputers, gadgets, phones, and, one of these days, the desktop? I will give you a clue, it does not come from Redmond or Cupertino....

When the remnant of Nokia resume making decent phones, which they still do know how to do, it will be despite M$, not because of them, and those phones will, like it or not, be running something based on Linux, or maxbe xBSD, but not necessarily Android. The remnant of Nokia (not the part owned by M$) will eventually rise to a credible position in the industry again, despite the malignant incompetence of Elop, whereas M$ are on the way down, with severe challenges on all fronts and not a credible product in any of them, starting with Windoze 8...

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"The fact is that no-one wants their ridiculously insecure bloatware any more."

There isn't any bloatware on Windows Phone and the bulk of the bloatware on the average PC was dumped there by the OEM.

"Those who can afford to do so are moving away from PCs to Apple."

My laptop cost more than any of Apple's laptops, but hey, it had a vastly superior specification.

And for the record, although I owned a Lumia I have nothing against Android, nor am I a fan of MS (or any other company)

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Job opportunities...

Well, given that MS are ejecting quite a few ex-Nokia folks, if real-Nokia do get back into the game, I wonder how many of these folks will end up back with the mother ship?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Job opportunities...

Hopefully not all of them and none of the management. There was too much infighting in Nokia, staff got to pick their projects and teams were set to compete with each other. This is what caused Nokia to falter as it was how management ran the company. All of the above caused missed deadlines which means delayed products. Hiring people that lived, worked and encouraged that culture is not what a new handset division needs. The hardware side, the Nokia engineers were some of the best; it was the software side that had serious issues.

The real question, does Nokia hire people now and have them work on devices they cannot sell or are they even barred from working on new devices. If they cannot even work on them, it makes no sense for Nokia to hire anyone right now just to be a placeholder.

Nokia would be far better at tossing some money to Jolla so that Jolla can get a new phone out sooner and to get a few more developers. The current handset doesn't support the LTE bands that it should and 3G support is even worse. How come they have issues getting the right components but a start-up like OnePlus has no issues? The Blackphone even has better specs than the Jolla handset and they even offer two variants for better 3G/LTE support.

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Buy a Nokia x now

Upgrade to another Nokia in 18 months time. No need to suffer windows phone...

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

... they wanted to gain significant market share in mobile phones and devices, and then promptly fired the 18,000 people who know how to build and make these mobile phones and devices.

Top top it off, Microsoft got rid of Android, a very popular mobile device Operating System, in favor of their own, which isn't popular, and has very little market share.

As a comedy of errors show, this gets very close to perfection.

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

I though Microsoft bought Nokia because they wanted the patents....and now they have them.....

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

Let's be honest -– dropping Android was always going to happen – so why didn't they just come out with it. While this may look like, and indeed very well may be, the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, it could all just be tied up in the financials: it was cheaper and easier for Microsoft to sack people than Nokia and this was reflected in the price of the deal, which was, by the way, paid for out of tax-shelter cash.

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

"As a comedy of errors show, this gets very close to perfection."

So you're saying Microsoft finally got something right?!

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

It doesn't. It only gets to lease the patents. Nokia still owns them. There was some fears that Nokia would become a gargantuan patent troll because it has patents in everything - from cell phone towers to switches to the hand-held devices.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/03/us-nokia-microsoft-patents-idUSBRE9820ZZ20130903

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

That's pretty much how I understood it. Even if Nokia does get back into making smartdevices in the future, they'll end up having to pay so much in licensing, MS will STILL make more money from Android than nokia would making the phones themselves I suspect.

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

You are forgetting that around 2/3 of the redundancies come from laying off factory workers in China, to move manufacturing to Vietnam...

That said, that still leaves a lot of skilled engineers being laid off.

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

"I though Microsoft bought Nokia because they wanted the patents....and now they have them....."

Fail - real Nokia still owns the IP pool and HERE maps. Microsoft only bought the Lumia brand and devices business (along with 10yr licence on the IP / HERE bundled on Mokia phones for 4 yrs).

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

As I understand it from http://company.nokia.com/en/news/press-releases/2013/09/03/microsoft-to-acquire-nokias-devices-services-business-license-nokias-patents-and-mapping-services Microsoft have only licensed the patents. So - Woo! Go Nokia (hopefully)...

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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

"promptly fired the 18,000 people who know how to" not finish software on time and in a usable state. Nokia got themselves into this mess, MS just turned off life support then looted the corpse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

"I though Microsoft bought Nokia because they wanted the patents....and now they have them....."

Microsoft didn't buy Nokia - or any of their patents.

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Facepalm

"It doesn't have to make anyone from the Devices units redundant. They're not Nokia's problem any more."

I know - wonderful isn't it - blame Microsoft and watch the redundancies.

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Facepalm

"It doesn't have to make anyone from the Devices units redundant. They're not Nokia's problem any more."

Wonderful really. Duck the blame and pass the can to Microsoft...

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Anonymous Coward

cue

cue a load of people saying they are holding out because they are waiting for a successor to the N9...

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Re: cue

Yep, just bought a replacement case for mine. It has to last a wee bit more, my N9.

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naaa

Why replace what still works just swell? A second gen Jolla might be tempting, as would be a new high end Nokia (made in Finland, please) – but the latter would most likely run Backdoor…uh, Android, and that's just not as attractive these days.

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Re: cue

cue a load of people saying they are holding out because they are waiting for a successor to the N9...

Perhaps.

I'd still like to see a decent modern version of Nokia Communicator. So it needs a usable QWERTY keyboard. I'd probably prefer the original clamshell/dual display over slide out keyboard. Doesn't matter if it's bit bulkier to house larger battery (or just give it two battery slots) so it'll be nice and steady on a table. Since its bit bulky maybe could fit full size USB port to easily plug a USB to serial converter in for console access.

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Anonymous Coward

Only time will tell

The article is more of a "hope for", "wish for" Nokia resurgence.

Whats it about 18 months from now on, then?

If the agreement with M$ stipulates that, then Nokia board would be singing and shouting from rooftops about their second coming! And heightening expectations from the punters.

But 18 months is a long time to wait in a smartphone market.

So a wish for article.

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Re: Only time will tell

They won't be waiting 18 months, they have that covered with their R&D department, AKA Jolla :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only time will tell

Nokia has given them a lot of support. Nokia could just re-brand phones; it would benefit both companies. Jolla uses the Nokia brand recognition and Nokia gets phones out of it.

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Re: Only time will tell

"They won't be waiting 18 months, they have that covered with their R&D department, AKA Jolla :-)"

They won't be getting back into smart, dumb or feature phones now or ever. You don't run up a series of breathtaking losses and writedowns, then tell investors "we're selling your handset division because we're too incompetent to manage it", and as soon as you've completed start plotting to get back into that line. The 18 month ban on Nokia making handsets of its own is a normal non-compete clause any buyer of businesses would demand, but that doesn't mean for one moment that Nokia have any desire to get back into handsets.

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Nokia was the clear winner of the phone business sale to Microsoft.

Think about that. They got rid of both Elop and his cash drainer Windows Phone at the same time and actually got real money for that.

It is like getting rid of your mother-in-law and earning money at the same time.

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Mother in law etc

Good one that, made me smile. But if Winphone is a "cash-drainer" (right), what isn't in the Smartmobe stakes, OS-wise? That's the problem Andrew rightly identifies.

Winphone - out (+ cash-drainer as you say).

Symbian s90 2015 edition - great but as with all custom OSs, no app ecosystem, doomed

Android - too much competition, much of it pulling in massive Chinese govt subsidy. So it's this last option that is the only possibility and yet possibly not even one where a business case can be made.

I think Nokia should have continued their project to make mobile cellular security cameras based on the 3310 phone long ago!

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Hmmm...

Is it allowed to start selling phones in 18 months, or start developing phones in 18 months?

Either way I wish them all the best, but all the goodwill has gone, and they would need to make the mother of all phones to entice me back.

:/

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And how long before they cock it up again...?

Nokia have the know how, they have the design skills, they don't need the multi layers of management and empire builders. IF Nokia decide to make such devices again, don't cock it up, please!

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Anonymous Coward

Embrace. Limit. Extinguish.

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Wonderful Opportunity for Nokia to resurrect itself.

Wonderful Opportunity for Nokia to resurrect itself.

Nokia had many loyal fans for so many years, till Microsoft ex employee took over as its CEO. Most of the close observers predicted correctly that Elop would ultimately kill Nokia or make Nokia surrender to Microsoft. It happened. Nokia's innovative culture and Microsoft's Ctl C , CTV +, rename culture won't be suitable for their marriage to hold for a longer time. It is good that Microsoft concentrate on Windows Mobile phone for another decade and getting abandoned like xbox .

It is a blessing in Disguise for Nokia now to resurrect and embrace fully Android eco system and start producing top level Smart Phones and low level features phones. In the resurrected stage it can easily become number 4 in the mobile phone market and later climb to the top position competing with Samsung and HTC , like before. (/without Microsoft)

James Prabhakar

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Re: Wonderful Opportunity for Nokia to resurrect itself.

Nokia was dead long before they hired Elop. A succession of comedy management errors over the last 10 years saw to that.

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Facepalm

Europe's biggest tech company?

Did anyone tell SAP?

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The New Nokia will not get back into the phone business, they see no money to be made.

Nokia has invested over 60 billion USD in R&D over the last 20 years, and will capitalize on its patent portfolio in the next two years. Arbitration with Samsung will happen in January, while arbitration with Apple happens in 2016.

Nokia no longer needs to cross license. For crucial industry standard patents Nokia holds they are committed to FRAND (Fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) when it comes to royalties. The Non crucial IP is where Nokia can cash in, audio, touchscreen, camera technology, design, etc.

Soon people might see Nokia as a Patent troll, but really, can someone be a Patent troll if they are the inventor who has spent 10's of billions on R&D?

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To be honest Nokia lost me as a customer after the 6280 back in 2008. Their first 3G and their first sliding phone - with an astronomically bad radio that would crash the phone and ridiculously bad build quality that rattled consistently and never felt like a "solid" phone.

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Sailfish for the win?

I've been using Sailfish since the launch last year. It has plenty of potential and I would actually put it a very tiny sliver above android in terms of UI.

If I was in Nokia's shoes then come 18 months, I'd be going for Sailfish on new phones and go forward from there.

I don't think that launching with MeeGo at that time would have served them very well, but this has bought them time, and in 18 months I think the mobile phone market will have become thoroughly fed up with iOS, Androis and ... let's face it, there isn't that much user base TO get fed up with Windows phone!

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It's an interesting idea, but I doubt they would want to get back into a business they had to leave because they had no clue how to make money in it.

As for the technical know-how, didn't the people who had the actual know-how transfer to Microsoft? It's a bit more likely if they didn't.

But it wouldn't surprise to see a Nokia phone in the future, just like some companies license the 'Westinghouse" brand for their products.

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Anonymous Coward

Waiting for Nokia's announcement

That they've made a small investment in Jolla....

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No money in smartphones...

.. unless you're Apple or Google.

Maybe the next big thing, something Internet of thing-like. Not holding my breath for announcement, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No money in smartphones...

".. unless you're Apple or Google."

Or Microsoft. They make more from Android than Google do.

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Linux

Nokia Reborn

Blend an iphone-sized touch-screen display with Nokia E-series ergonomic QWERTY keyboard. Whoever will do it, will rewrite the smart-phone devices history again. A bit longer device in one piece, yet so much more productive for business people. Longer amps for battery too. So anti-Jobsian thing, that perhaps only Finns can figure it out and pull it off again.

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