Nokia shareholders ushered in a new chapter for the company this week after they agreed to the sale of the devices and services unit to Microsoft and essentially gave the green light for a future based on networks. Like Ericsson, the Finnish company will no doubt have taken heart from Vodafone's stated intention to maintain high levels of network investment over the next two years and maybe beyond.
Nokia said its shareholders approved the sale of the Finnish company's devices and services business to Microsoft after 99 per cent of the votes cast at this week's extraordinary general meeting were in favour of the proposal.
Nokia and Samsung Electronics extended their patent-licensing agreement for another five years, a move that will likely be a boon for Nokia as its sells its handset business to Microsoft and patents become a more important part of its business.
The global smartphone market has calcified at the top, with Samsung Electronics and Apple continuing to lead the field by large margins, according to the latest reports from research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC. The fight is over which companies can clamor over each other to get to the No. 3 spot--and in the third quarter analysts concluded it was Chinese vendor Huawei.
Nokia Solutions and Networks' significant win in China Mobile's recent TD-LTE tender put a positive spin on the vendor's third-quarter results, as did an upbeat forecast of future growth, but a slip in sales nonetheless cast a shadow on NSN's ongoing turnaround.
Nokia reported record sales in the third quarter of its Lumia smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone software, and saw a sharp jump in its shipments in the North American market, signs that the company's strategy may be starting to take hold.
The African smartphone market is set to double in volume over the next four years and account for close to one third of all handset shipments to the continent by 2017, according to a new report from research firm IDC.
Struggling to catch up with Asia and North America, which have set the pace for LTE deployments, Europe is focusing on the next generation of mobile communications, commonly called 5G. The flagship project leading this effort is METIS 2020, which aims to position Europe as a 5G leader.
It is vital that the European development community--from silicon design to software applications--work to benefit from making, using, optimizing and commercializing 4G LTE here at home. Thankfully, and most importantly, market growth potential for mobile and wirelessly connected devices and services is substantial and certain. However, we can't be effective in developing 5G or becoming leaders in providing it to the world if we are not even on the pace in 4G.
In a tale of two tablet vendors, product releases this week from Nokia and Apple reveal strikingly different approaches to wireless connectivity. However, the approaches are not surprising given the companies' histories.