Microsoft has no intention of giving up on its mobile efforts, but what the company is planning is a bigger overhaul that would make this business a bit more effective. And it appears that part of this strategy could be selling the Nokia feature phone business in the next months.
A report coming from website VTech, which by no means should be taken for granted because it’s just a rumor and nothing more, claims that Microsoft wants to give up on the Nokia brand, which it still uses to sell feature phones around the world. At the same time, word has it that the company is keen on restructuring its internal mobile division.
Foxconn is the name that’s reportedly interested in taking over Microsoft’s feature phone business, as the software giant still has the right to sell devices under this name until 2024 following the purchase of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit in 2014.
Without the feature phone division, Microsoft would be able to focus more on Windows 10 Mobile devices, although plans in this direction are also being revised too. Reports that reached the web earlier this year indicated that Microsoft no longer intended to launch new Lumia devices, focusing instead on the eagerly anticipated Surface Phone planned for 2017.
And today’s report somehow aligns with previous rumors, as it also states that Microsoft wants to integrate the mobile division into the Surface unit. This could be a sign that the Surface Phone will remain the only device manufactured by Microsoft, so Lumia handsets could indeed go dark.
But in order to do this, Microsoft is believed to be looking into ways to cut more jobs within the mobile division. Approximately 50 percent of the workers would be laid off, the aforementioned source notes, as Microsoft is aiming to streamline its mobile efforts once the Surface division becomes in charge of them.
This speculation somehow makes sense, especially because Microsoft wants to overhaul the mobile business, but it remains to be seen if selling the Nokia brand to Foxconn is indeed part of this plans. The feature phone business has performed quite slowly for Microsoft, as only 15 million devices were sold in the first quarter of this year.
The Surface Phone is projected to launch in early 2017, so expect more rumors to emerge in the coming months.