Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) isn't buying Nokia (HEL:NOK1V)(NYSE:NOK), after all, we're told. But Huawei might be. Seems like, despite earlier appearances, Ballmer and Elop don't get along. Good news for Samsung, Google and Apple; but bad news for mobile-platform diversity.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder the future shape of the smartphone market.
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Sharon Terlep, Dennis K. Berman, and Shira Ovide tag-team to bring us this:
...people familiar with the matter said...discussions faltered over price and worries about Nokia's slumping market position. ...talks took place as recently as this month but aren't likely to be revived.
more than two years ago...Nokia agreed to use only Windows Phone software [and] Microsoft agreed to spend billions of dollars to give Nokia help. ... But the partnership so far has failed to significantly lift the companies' mobile fortunes.
Even with Microsoft's new emphasis on homegrown hardware, it isn't clear why Microsoft would be interested in owning Nokia. MORE
Zach Miners digs down to the rich seam of news-ore: [You're fired -Ed.]
Microsoft and...Nokia were in advanced talks about an acquisition of the Finnish company's device business. ... Such a deal might have improved both companies' ability to compete. ... The deal hit snags regarding price and the market position of Nokia. ... Microsoft declined to comment on the report. Nokia could not immediately be reached for comment.
When Nokia announced last year that it would be cutting 10,000 jobs, industry speculation grew over whether...Microsoft [would] make a move. MORE
Voyaging homeward, Darrel Etherington thinks it's time for a colorful metaphor:
Essentially, Microsoft and Nokia were able to have an extended dating period, and Microsoft [saw] that opting for marriage wasn’t likely to turn around the fortunes of either party.
[None of this] should come as any big surprise to anyone who has been watching the progress of Nokia [or] of Windows Phone. MORE
But Paul Thurrott has his own deep-throats:
Chinese cell phone giant Huawei is allegedly interested in acquiring Nokia. ... The issue for Huawei is that it is growing quickly...and may need to make some acquisitions to compete head-to-head with the industry’s biggest players.
Three years into Windows Phone, market share and usage remains small. ... Nokia now controls about 80 percent of the market for Windows Phone handsets, and HTC [has] most of the rest. (Huawei also makes a Windows Phone handset.) ... I admire Nokia deeply [but it's] in tough shape. ... Nokia also isn’t turning around Windows Phone, at least not fast enough. ... Maybe something needs to give.
[If] Microsoft buys Nokia...it ends Windows Phone licensing and simply makes their own Surface phones and accessories using proven Nokia know-how. ... Nokia is the best thing that’s ever happened to Windows Phone [so] Microsoft should protect this firm just as it would any other core asset. MORE
Meanwhile, Keith Zubot-Gephart reckons the rot set in years ago:
Nokia’s own corporate culture...has been killing Nokia slowly for a long time. ...the Nokia board and the upper-management in general has been fairly atrocious in their decision-making. ... Nokia has had some amazing engineers but terrible, terrible decisions have been made over their heads.
[When] the board...brought Elop on...anyone paying attention...suspected that it was to position Nokia to be bought out by Microsoft. [This news is] surprising if you took PR and management people at their words, but exactly what you expected with any healthy quota of cynicism. MORE