Microsoft's €5.4 billion acquisition of Nokia's Devices & Services division, first announced back in September of last year and originally expected to close in the first quarter of this year, is now expected to be completed next month. While Microsoft has received regulatory approval "in 15 markets on five continents", it is still awaiting "approval confirmation in the final markets".
Recent News - Industry
Microsoft has announced that it is now working with nine new Windows Phone 8 hardware partners as it seeks to "scale the platform" to higher volumes. The new partners include industry heavyweights LG, ZTE, Lenovo, and Foxconn, plus a number of smaller OEMs in the form of Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), and Longcheer.
Microsoft today announced that it has named Satya Nadella as CEO and member of the Board of Directors with immediate effect. Nadella, an internal appointee who replaces Steve Ballmer, previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.
Nokia has released its Q4 2013 results, reporting an operating profit of €76 million (down from €439 million a year ago), with net sales of €6.109 billion (down 23% year-on-year). This is the last full set of results before the expected completion of sale of the Devices & Services division to Microsoft this quarter.
Nokia has released its Q3 2013 results, reporting an operating profit of €118 million (up from a loss of €564 million in Q3 2012), with net sales of €5.6662 billion (down 22% year-on-year). Nokia's Devices and Services division's operating loss was €86 million. The margin in Devices and Services was -3% (up from from -18.9% in Q3 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 8.8 million (all Lumia), up from 7.4 million in Q2, while mobile phone volumes were 55.8 million, up from 53.7 million in Q2, but down 27% year-on-year.
Nokia yesterday published additional material about its proposed transaction with Microsoft that will see the sale of its Devices & Services business and a major patent licensing agreement. The information is intended to give shareholders more information ahead of the proposed 19th November EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) at which shareholders will be asked to follow the board's recommendation and vote to approve the proposed transaction with Microsoft.
Microsoft and Nokia today announced that they had signed an agreement whereby Nokia will sell its Devices & Services business and license its patents to Microsoft for €5.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2014, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
The move will be seen as a key part of Microsoft's future devices and service strategy and was, perhaps, inevitable given its reliance on Nokia for Windows Phone devices, especially after rumours about such a transaction were floated earlier this summer. It will shake up both the Windows Phone ecosystem and the mobile industry more generally, drawing clear lines between major technology players, but also leaving questions about the business sustainability of smaller players.
The transaction will close the mobile phone chapter in Nokia's 150 year old history and reshapes a company that remains one of Europe's leading technology brands.
Kantar Worldpanel data, released today, shows that, in the three months to the end of July 2013, Windows Phone devices made up 8.3% of smartphone sales unit volumes in the EU5 (Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Spain), the highest ever level for the platform. Windows Phone also reached a record share of smartphone sales in Mexico (12%), taking second place behind Android, but ahead of BlackBerry and iOS, the first time this has happened in a market of significant size.
Yesterday, Kantar released its latest set of Worldpanel data (June 2013) about smartphone sales data in a number of countries. The data shows continued year-on-year growth for Windows Phone in the UK (4.5% to 8.6%), France (2.3% to 9.0%), Mexico (1.9% to 7%), Australia (5.2% to 5.3%) and the US (2.9% to 4.0%). However, some markets, such as Germany (6.1% to 5.9%) and Italy (8.3% to 7.8%, show small drops in market share, painting a mixed picture for Windows Phone.
Nokia has released its Q2 2013 results, reporting an operating loss of €115 million (up from a loss of €824 million in Q2 2012), with net sales of €5.695 billion (down 24% year-on-year). Nokia's Devices and Services division's operating loss was €33 million. The margin in Devices and Services was -1.2% (up from from -11.8% in Q2 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 7.4 million (all Lumia), up from 6.1 million in Q1, while mobile phone volumes were 53.7 million, down from 55.8 million in Q1, and down 27% year-on-year.