Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.
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October 29, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Nokia, whose phone business is being acquired by Microsoft, is reporting some good news about its Lumia line of Windows Phones.
The Finnish phone-maker reports that its third-quarter shipments of Lumia phones has increased 19 percent quarter-on-quarter to 8.8 million units.
Year-over-year, Lumia volume rose 203 percent, up from 2.9 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2012.
Nokia attributed the increase to “our recently broadened Lumia product range and strong customer demand, particularly for the Lumia 520.”
Microsoft’s $7.2 billion deal to purchase Nokia’s phone business is expected to close early next year.
The increase in Lumia shipments, however, wasn’t enough to boost the once-dominant phone-maker into the ranks of the top five smartphone vendors.
Here are the top five, according to research firm IDC:
September 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM
Microsoft is buying Nokia’s handset business as part of a $7.2 billion deal, the two companies announced today.
Microsoft is paying about $5 billion (EUR 3.79 billion) for Nokia’s Devices & Services Business. In addition, it is paying about $2.18 billion (EUR 1.65 billion) to license Nokia’s patents and to license and use Nokia’s mapping services.
The businesses that Microsoft is getting from Nokia brought in about $19.7 billion (EUR 14.9 billion) revenue in 2012, about half of Nokia’s sales that year.
Nokia retains other substantial parts of its business including networking infrastructure and services, technology development and licensing, and mapping and location services. Its patent portfolio remains within Nokia, which is granting Microsoft a 10-year non-exclusive license.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is stepping down from that position, and becoming executive vice president of Nokia’s Devices & Services division, leading its transition into Microsoft.
Once the transition is finalized, Elop becomes an executive vice president at Microsoft, heading a devices division that will include Windows Phone, as well as Xbox and Surface. Julie Larson-Green, current executive vice president in charge of the Devices & Studios division at Microsoft, will report to Elop.
(Elop’s name has come up fairly frequently as a possible successor to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced last month that he would be retiring once his successor has been chosen within 12 months.)
In total, Microsoft is getting Nokia’s mobile, smartphone and smart devices units; its design team; its production facilities; and its sales, marketing and support operations, according to Nokia.
Most of Nokia’s employees will remain where they are. After the deal closes, the roughly 32,000 employees in Nokia’s Devices & Services division — slightly more than half of them working in manufacturing and assembly in Nokia’s production facilities around the world — will still work in those facilities, but will work for Microsoft. About 4,700 of those employees work in Finland in research and development, engineering, design, and operations and will remain there.
“Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a news release. “In addition to their innovation and strength in phones at all price points, Nokia brings proven capability and talent in critical areas such as hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, and hardware sales, marketing and distribution.”
Nokia has made Microsoft’s Windows Phone its primary smartphone operating system since 2011 and its Lumia line of Windows Phone has been credited with giving Microsoft a tiny gain in market share over the past several months even as the OS in general struggles for a foothold in the marketplace. (Windows Phone has about a 3.3 percent worldwide market share.) But Nokia has been floundering and though it’s narrowed its losses lately, it still posted a $151 million loss last quarter.
Nokia said it expects to gain about about $4.2 billion (EUR 3.2 billion) on the sale.
The Finnish company retains the Nokia brand and under a 10-year agreement, Microsoft has said it would use the Nokia brand on certain mobile phones based on its Series 30 and Series 40 operating systems.
However, Nokia is restricted from using its own name on its own mobile devices until Dec. 31, 2015.
Microsoft is using its overseas cash reserves to fund the cash purchase, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders and regulatory approval, according to a news release. Microsoft had reported having about $77 billion in cash reserves in a financial document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Such an acquisition “has been on everyone’s minds on and off,” Al Hilwa, an analyst with research firm IDC, said in an email. “It is good for both companies to see it happen. Nokia has a highly evolved device design and manufacturing process which will benefit Microsoft greatly. This is simply the fastest path in front of Microsoft to achieve something like Apple’s vision on devices. The key to progress in this space does not change, namely will Microsoft be able to create critical mass with its platform.”
July 18, 2013 at 8:22 AM
Nokia sold a record 7.4 million Nokia Lumia Windows Phones in its fiscal second quarter, an increase of 32 percent from the first quarter, the Finnish phone manufacturer announced in its earnings report today
“We are very proud of the recent creations by our Lumia team, from the Lumia 520 – our most affordable Windows Phone 8 product … to the Lumia 1020, our star imaging product which we unveiled to the world last week,” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a news release announcing the quarterly earnings results.
Though the company’s Lumia smartphone sales increased, its feature mobile phone sales decreased 4 percent quarter-on-quarter to 53.7 million units. Elop said, however that in the latter part of the second quarter, those sales “started to demonstrate signs of recovery.”
Overall, Nokia had a disappointing second quarter, with sales down 24 percent year-over-year to 5.7 billion euros (U.S. $7.46 billion). The results missed analysts’ expectations.
Nokia shares fell after the report and as of Thursday morning were trading at $3.95.
Microsoft, too, is announcing its quarterly earnings — its fiscal 4th quarter and year-end results — today. Here’s a preview of what to expect in the Q4 earnings.
July 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Nokia announced today that its latest flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 1020, will be available in the U.S. on July 26 with AT&T for $299.99 with a two-year contract.
Nokia is really touting the camera on the 1020, which has a 41 megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, enhanced zoom capability, and a new “dual capture” feature that allows users to simultaneously shoot a 38-megapixel image and a 5-megapixel one to easily share on social networks.
The 1020 will come in yellow, white and black.
Specs are here.
May 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM
The Huawei W1 is joining the Nokia Lumia 521 in Wal-Mart’s line of presumably lower priced, no-contract Windows Phone devices.
The Huawei W1, known overseas as the Ascend W1 and which has been described as an entry-level phone, is expected to be available at Wal-Mart later this month. While neither Huawei nor Wal-Mart disclosed the price, the phone “will use a no-contract prepaid plan and be priced ‘competitively,’” the official Windows Phone blog says, citing a Huawei executive.
The Lumia 521, meanwhile, is expected to become available at Wal-Mart starting on Saturday. It is eligible for a no contract, $30 per month unlimited data and texting plan on T-Mobile. It looks like Wal-Mart is pricing it at about $130, according to the retailer’s website.
April 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM
Nokia reported its first quarter results today, saying that sales of its Lumia Windows Phone increased 27 percent from the previous quarter to 5.6 million units.
That reflects “increasing momentum,” according to Nokia’s news release on the earnings. Nokia CEO — and former Microsoft executive — Stephen Elop had made the decision in 2011 to switch to Windows Phone as the company’s primary smartphone operating system. The company’s Lumia line of Windows Phones is regarded as the flagship — or at least one of the top — Windows Phone devices.
But sales of the company’s basic mobile phones decreased, helping result in a net sales decrease of 20 percent to 5.9 billion euros, down from 7.4 billion euros a year earlier.
Nokia shares are trading this morning at $3.19, down 10.89 percent.
Microsoft reports its fiscal third quarter earnings later today.