Nokia cuts R&D jobs amid weak sales

Nokia said it will cut at least 320 jobs in Finland and temporarily lay off some other employees, proving that even the world's largest handset maker is not immune the slowing sales and a weaker global economy.

The company said that it would close a production facility in Jyväskylä, cutting 320 jobs in product development. Instead, it will focus on mobile device R&D at other existing sites in Finland, including ones at Tampere, Oulu, Salo and the Helsinki metropolitan area.

Nokia also said it would be scaling down production at Salo as well. The company will lay off workers on a rotational basis, with operations continuing during the layoffs. About 500 to 750 of the 2,500 workers at the site will be laid off at a time.

The moves come amid an uncertain climate for Nokia, which saw its sales drop in the fourth quarter and its net profit drop 69 percent. The company shipped 113.1 million units in the quarter, down 15 percent from the 133.5 million it shipped in the fourth quarter last year and down from the 117.8 million it shipped in the third quarter of 2008. While the job cuts are not on the staggering scale of Motorola's, it is still significant that even Nokia is feeling the pinch from dropping sales.   

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