Financial Focus: Nokia – A Technological Revolution Coming – or Past?

This week Nokia unveiled a tablet running Google Inc.’s Android software, marking a return by the former smart phone-market leader into mobile devices just months after it sold its hand set business to Microsoft Corp.

The tablet uses Nokia’s software on top of the Google operating system. Nokia expects the tablet to be available in other markets.

The tablet is the latest twist in 149-year-old Nokia’s history that includes transformations from one industry to another.

After Nokia sold the money-losing mobile-phone unit to Microsoft for about $7.5 billion, Nokia is expanding beyond wireless-network equipment.

Founded as a wood-pulp mill in 1865, Nokia’s transformations have included switches from rubber boots and toilet paper to cables, televisions, computers and mobile phones.

Nokia is re-entering the mobile-device market as its brand is fresh in consumers’ minds.

Microsoft is dropping the Nokia name from its products, a change the Redmond, Washington-based company signaled when it announced the acquisition.
When agreeing to sell its phone division to Microsoft, Nokia said it would be restricted from licensing its brand for use in connection with mobile-device sales for 30 months and from using the Nokia brand on Nokia’s own mobile devices until the end of 2015.
Once the No. 1 smart phone maker with a market share topping 50 percent, Nokia dropped outside the top five in recent years as Apple’s iPhone and Android phones gained dominance.

The company has three businesses left after the phone-unit sale: the networks division, its maps business, and a research and development unit which is responsible for licensing its patents. The new tablet is developed by the R&D division.

it is this division that could bring Nokia back to prominence- as a tablet company.

But are tablets still relevant if I am typing this… on the phone?

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