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NYT: Nokia worked on Android phones, Microsoft knew

  • Two sources tell the NYT a Nokia (NOK +0.8%) team "had Android up and running" on Lumia phones well before talks to sell Nokia's phone ops to Microsoft (MSFT +1%) began, and that Microsoft was aware of the project.
  • In spite of its alliance with Microsoft, Nokia would've been free to sell Android phones after late 2014. Critics frequently argued the company made a colossal mistake by opting for Windows Phone over Android (currently has a ~75% smartphone share), and Stephen Elop had hinted Nokia was open to using Android down the line.
  • The Microsoft deal prohibits Nokia from offering mobile hardware under its brand until the end of 2015. If the company does have plans to make phones after the deal closes, it isn't tipping its hand.
  • Meanwhile, a Singapore-based startup called Newkia has already recruited a team of former Nokia execs, and promises to poach additional Nokia phone division employees in an effort to build Android hardware true to the spirit of Nokia's design/engineering philosophy.
  • Aided by fresh upgrades and optimism about a phone-free future, Nokia shares had another strong week. They're now up 64% since the Microsoft deal was announced.
Comments (24)
  • A glimpse of what's to come for $BBRY?
    13 Sep 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • No....
    14 Sep 2013, 06:08 AM Reply Like
  • "Meanwhile, a Singapore-based startup called Newkia has already recruited a team of former Nokia execs, and promises to poach additional Nokia phone division employees in an effort to build Android hardware true to the spirit of Nokia's design/engineering philosophy. "


    Somebody is gonna get suuuu-uued! I wish them excellent luck not treading on any of the patents aquired by Microsoft in the deal.
    13 Sep 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Microsoft did not buy any patents from Nokia except the design patents. The rest of the patents remain Nokia property and Microsft paid some billions to license them.
    13 Sep 2013, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • "Newkia"
    13 Sep 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • Another ex Nokia team
    15 Sep 2013, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • 3rd company, started by SNL staffers called the "Mr. Bill."


    Buggy OS will be called the OH NO!(kia)
    15 Sep 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Nokia had skunkworks going for Android. I suspected it all along. But that does no longer matter. It's a nice anecdote, adding to a fascinating story of a once famous device brand that almost could have achieved the promised comeback.


    Better trade its new incarnation while sentiment continues the pumping and enjoy Christmas and birthday, rolled into one, this September already : )
    13 Sep 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • System, when nokia was trading in the range of $3/$4 you told people to stay away because of dead money. And now you tell people to keep buying after a big run up.


    I really hope whoever listens to you now will not end up holding the bag so to speak..... at least tell them to wait for a decent pull back before putting money into NOK
    13 Sep 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Before Microsoft bought Nokia's D&S division on the 3rd, taking investors as well as traders by surprise, Nokia was dead money since January, with the April 19th and June 12th exceptional entry points, and therefore only a trade vehicle. During that time, I recommended trading Nokia, especially into interim reports and product launches (look at the chart corellated with events) and that has generated very good profits. At no time did I recommend to sell Nokia or to not buy it.


    Because the 3rd September surprise made most of us so much richer is no reason to be smug. The Friday before the Microsoft incident happened, I actually suggested to buy for another trade into the Q3 interim report and the phablet launch - a strategy that worked beautifully since January. Neither I or anyone else on SA knew that just four days later everything would change for the better so soon so very much.


    Please do me the favour and re-read the post above and your reply; there is 1. no "buy now" recommendation and 2. buying Nokia on, for example, the 10th September, while in the run up, would have made you a whopping €0,50 per share (€4,258 > €4,750). So, there is 1. nothing wrong with trading and 2. your suggestion to never buy a stock on the rise can not be generalised, simply for the fact that nobody can predict, whether a stock has peaked at that very moment - or will continue to appreciate for a few more days, weeks, months or whatever.


    Imagine I would have stopped buying $ALU on the 3rd September, because you suggest not to buy after a run-up - I would have foregone €0,40 per share (€2,21 > €2,61); another massive profit.


    Nobody can ever know, if a stock has appreciated to a local maximum from which it will then decline or rise further.


    In my opinion, $NOK continues to be a good trade vehicle from current levels onwards. Others will rather see it as an investment. No problem.
    14 Sep 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • system, since you seem to have forgotten about your negative sentiments about nokia... fine with me.


    it is the second part of my reply that I would like to highlight.


    nokia might still go up a lot, but to me it seems to be overbought right now.


    I rather make less money not chasing a bullish trend then being left holding if it turns out going south. But that is just me... something about buy low and sell high if I remember correctly.
    14 Sep 2013, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • My sentiment towards Nokia as a business (HERE, NSN, patent monetisation) is still neutral to negative. In only 11 days, Nokia's business segments have not suddenly changed (won proper contracts, incurred license fees, were monetised in court). And nothing substantial (substantial for me means organic growth, no shenanigans) is on the horizon.


    But my sentiment towards Nokia as a trading stock is indeed quite good since a few days, no surprise there. The burst up was sustained on good volume. U.S. analyst upgrades, loving and caring articles in European finance press, this still makes for good, not exuberant, sentiment at the moment.


    Now Fed, QE taper and deficit may set the overall agenda. I am more and more surprised every day that this September does not "behave" as it very often does. Maybe September comes in October? Maybe not at all. Hard to say from European perspective since Obama is calling the shots - or not.
    14 Sep 2013, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Though Elop did indeed make a monstrous mistake passing up Android it worked out well for him in the end.


    Nokia should say goodbye to the phone competition buzzsaw forever.


    Remember when making PC boxes was the hot, cutthroat playground all of the consumer tech companies wanted to play in?


    Mobile is going the same way.
    13 Sep 2013, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • There's one big difference. A mobile device actually follows you practically everywhere you go. As such, it's exposed to your habits, buying patterns, interests, even what you see (or hear, smell, touch in the future). The opportunities for those few with the resources to control these ecosystems are simply immense. It remains to be seen how much these few will allow the hardware to be commoditized as they drive to grow (& control) access to their respective ecosystems. Sure, components and sub-assemblies may become even more commoditized...but these products are also branding statements that follow consumers everywhere, and for long periods of time. In this sense, I am not convinced the hardware will be purely commoditized. Rather, I see branding and pricing addressing consumer cigarette packs at a kiosk. Price gaps will be carefully managed to ensure hi profitability across the weighted avg of the portfolio.
    14 Sep 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Remember TV? Content is king. The real profits in broadcasting (online or traditional) are made with what is watched (advertising), not by companies that sell the TV sets. Just taking football alone, Real Madrid broke the half-billion € turnover barrier with TV rights and merchandising. And that is just one enterprise (club)... and one sport (football)... and one kind of programming content (sports)...


    I found it quite surprising why Google would want to own Motorola - but then not going all-out with Motorola's skill set to put rock bottom priced viewing and data mining terminals (smartphones) in consumers' hands.


    A big smartphone manufacturer did a study some years ago, if it would not be better to eventually give devices away for free or a token fee.
    14 Sep 2013, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • The phone business sucks. An endless arms race. Notice how the only real players that are making any money are doing so with the ecosystem and services they offer. Nokia is smart to get out now.
    13 Sep 2013, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • ...while in the meantime on the other side of the aisle...


    The Verge:


    "Nuclear options: Microsoft was testing Surface Phone while Nokia experimented with Android"

    13 Sep 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • Nokia DnS died when Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo became CEO in 2007 , and they stopped to innovate for almost 4 years . It does not really matter from then on , what OS they would had adopted, because they were 4 years late and by then new players Samsung and Apple had taken the lion share of the market . At least with Microsoft they got a soft landing . Phones are becoming a commodity that giants are using to promote either their ecosystem and services like Microsoft , or their components sales like Samsung . Motorola X , HTC one , even the latest Iphone 5C don't look to me as success stories . For that reason I do not think that Nokia will make phones again even after 2015 . I agree that smartphones are more sexy and exciting then mobile infrastructure or location service but no point if they are no longer profitable .
    We know that Microsoft will not be allowed to use Nokia name on smartphones they launch and I don't know why Nokia has refused to license their name on lumias ? And will that apply also to current models from 1020 to 520 before the transfer in early 2014 ?
    Anyway based on Nokia share price it would seem that they made the right decision to exit DnS . Now i an waiting for their new CEO and remain long Nokia .
    13 Sep 2013, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • It's not true that Nokia was not innovating during this period. It was spending dearly on R&D and delivering some breakthru's. Unfortunately, under OPK's management the organization and execution routinely hamstrung the company's ability to move quickly. In parallel, OPK made some very typical "accountant" calls when it came to products. The classic example being the flagship N97, which was limited to a paltry amount of RAM and couldn't accept decent OS enhancements because of these bean counting product decisions before its launch. OPK also allowed the Symbian and Meego teams to battle for resources internally while the IOS and Android ecosystems developed around them. It was an insane approach, one that the hands-off BoD allowed to perpetuate for far too long.
    14 Sep 2013, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • JB . Yes you are correct , I simplified , bottom line bad decisions were made , and poorly executed . There was rivalry rather then cooperation between the Symbian and the Meego team , memory was always a problem , I remember on my last Symbian the E75 , that was constantly an issue . To this day , in my view , the best phone that Nokia came up with ever was the Meego N9 , killed by Elop . In my part of the world I still see people with N9 , so far I didn't see people with lumias , except myself . And the N9 successor , the Jolla with sailfish OS , unlike the N9 , can load android apps so it has an ecosystem . If Nokia ever goes back to making phones , which i doubt, I hope they use Sailfish , which is far superior to Android .
    Anyway all this is past . As it is , lets be frank , Microsoft has helped Nokia tremendously on the financial aspect of things , with the billions they poured into Nokia now and then . Choosing WP and Elop was the Nokia BOD decision , if anyone is to blame , Nokia BOD is the one to blame , not Elop , much less Microsoft .
    14 Sep 2013, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • Where are all the guys who were saying they wouldn't vote for this deal, NOK sold to cheap, and mad as hell about what the board did? That was when they were also saying that NOK was headed for the bankrupt pile, but that was before NOK decided to go up, way up, and now approaching 7 bucks a share.
    This board can do these deals every day as far as I'm concerned, they are doing what these guys thought they would never do with that deal....make money!
    Most of these critical guys are very quiet these days !
    13 Sep 2013, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • Take a look at this concept for smartphones. Whoever adopts this could be huge.
    14 Sep 2013, 05:51 AM Reply Like
  • Tuf


    Makes sense. I've kept two phones for longer than the 2-year contract and they were fine for my needs but could've used a boost here or there.


    One disadvantage is with the constant system upgrades on Android, the guts of the phone become too backward to use the latest software and, eventually, won't access apps and websites properly. With the contract situation common in North America, you pay for the phone over the 2 years of the plan and obsolescence isn't an issue. But if you just replaced the processor, most plans would still ding you extra.


    In other words, unless you get a significantly different plan, you are going to pay for an entire new phone anyway, so...


    However, since the government no longer wants me to use incandescent light bulbs, anything that is sensible as far as reducing electronic waste, which is often slightly toxic, is a good idea.


    I forwarded it to my very social GF, who will give it the coverage it deserves in our network of compadres.
    14 Sep 2013, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • On a separate note, I see that the 1020 will be made available in GB on ALL the networks in September. According to some folks, it is the surprising hit on AT & Ts system and has captured the #3 slot. I believe it will be available outside of ATT before Christmas. Thanks to Nokia, I now know how to pay for it.



    14 Sep 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
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