Microsoft confirmed it has ended negotiations with staff and will close Nokia's former handset product development unit in Salo, Finland. Microsoft also reiterated that it plans to cut 2,300 of its 3,200 employees in the Nordic country, part of a broader restructuring and round of job cuts the software giant announced in July.
Nokia won't be jumping back into the smartphone business until the fourth quarter of 2016 at the earliest, but it is already preparing for its reentry by hiring software experts, testing new products and looking for sales partners, according to a Reuters report.
The global smartphone market keeps on growing, it's just not growing as fast as it once did, according to industry research firms. In fact, thanks in large part to weaker sales growth in the U.S., Europe and China, the market is growing at its slowest rate in years.
LG Electronics said sales in its mobile unit were flat in the second quarter and smartphone shipments declined. The company's mobile unit hit a snag despite the introduction of its latest flagship smartphone, the G4, which went on sale in the U.S. in early June after being introduced in April.
There is clearly still a market for flagship smartphones. They excite fans of the brands that make them and often serve as the reference point for the company's design language that filters down to mid-range and lower-end phones. But the days of the flagship smartphone as the be-all, end-all product for smartphone companies are over.
Nokia reiterated that it will look for the right hardware partner before jumping back into the smartphone business via licensing its brand and technology, which won't happen until the fourth quarter of 2016 at the earliest.
The FCC reached a settlement with América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, which will force TracFone to unlock its customers' handsets.
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri confirmed the rumors that have been swirling around the company for a few months, and said that next year the company will re-enter the mobile phone market by licensing its brands and designs.
Huawei has officially stated it wants to grow smartphone shipments to 100 million units in 2015, up from 75 million last year. But according to the company's CEO, the Chinese firm doesn't want to sacrifice profitability for the sake of volume growth.
Most of the growth in the U.S smartphone market is coming from buyers over the age of 55 and from those making under $30,000 per year, according to new report from the NPD Group.