Nokia to sell main handset business to Microsoft
By Ritsuko Ando and Bill Rigby, ReutersHELSINKI/SEATTLE -- Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft's Windows Phone software, a withered Nokia collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, agreeing to sell its main handset business for 5.44 billion euros (US$7.2 billion).
September 4, 2013, 6:27 pm TWN
Nokia, which will continue as a maker of networking equipment and holder of patents, was once the world's dominant handset manufacturer but was long since overtaken by Apple and Samsung in the highly competitive market for more powerful smartphones.
Nokia's Canadian boss Stephen Elop, who ran Microsoft's business software division before jumping to Nokia in 2010, will now return to the U.S. firm as head of its mobile devices business.
He is being discussed as a possible replacement for Microsoft's retiring CEO Steve Ballmer, who is trying to remake the U.S. firm into a gadget and services company like Apple before he departs, after disastrous attempts so far to compete in mobile devices.
In three years under Elop, Nokia saw its market share collapse and its share price shrivel as investors bet heavily that his strategy would fail.
In 2011, after writing a memo that said Nokia was falling behind and lacked the in-house technology to catch up, Elop made the controversial decision to use his former firm Microsoft's Windows Phone for smartphones, rather than Nokia's own software or Google's ubiquitous Android operating system.