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Nokia Consolidating Locations, Laying Off 3500 More Employees 111

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the elop-lops-off-the-arms dept.
angry tapir writes with an excerpt from a Techworld article: "Nokia is planning to lay off an additional 3,500 employees, as the company continues to restructure after announcing its decision to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. The affected employees work in manufacturing, location and commerce, and supporting functions."
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Nokia Consolidating Locations, Laying Off 3500 More Employees

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nokia

  • after announcing its decision to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

    In other words, they're throwing themselves off a cliff with an anvil around their neck.

    • by Threni (635302)

      > In other words, they're throwing themselves off a cliff with an anvil around their neck

      An anvil which very soon will have both cut AND paste functionality.

    • after announcing its decision to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

      In other words, they're throwing themselves off a cliff with an anvil around their neck.

      No, they threw themselves off the cliff when they ignored the iPhone, didn't take up Android early, and fiddled with MeeGo while the market burned.

      Windows Mobile 7 is the only hope they have of not making a hard landing, while still remaining a distinct company with a leg up on other mobile makers. That would not have happened with An

      • No chance at all (Score:5, Interesting)

        by symbolset (646467) * on Friday September 30, 2011 @08:03PM (#37573672) Journal

        Nice trying to shift the blame, but they took the Manchurian CEO and he's quite quickly doing them in. In Europe they just ditched their established disty partners, burning their bridge to retail outlets that give them any sort of hope. That bridge is going to take a year to rebuild that they just don't have, and Europe was their only market with margins in it.

        This one was over the day American investors called up the Chairman of Nokia and told him to take Elop or be fired and Elop would take over anyway. It's an inside job, the deliberate burning down of an established company. And it's an evil thing to do. It's crushing the economy of Finland, many retirement funds are going bust. Competent engineers with families thrown out of work. And the goal seems to be to get Nokia down to a size Microsoft can swallow, for the patents.

        After he's done, where is Elop going to go? Where else? He'll come back to Redmond dragging the corpse of Nokia behind him, and it'll be stored in a filing cabinet next to Sendo's IP - and that will be the end of it.

        Now who were those American investors? We don't know yet, but I bet it will come out one day in the shareholder lawsuit.

        • I agree Microsoft basically rode them over, but it was not to burn down the company. Nokia is Microsoft's only real hope of rising to a decent position in the mobile marketspace again. They need Nokia not to burn, but to shine... They also needed Android not to have Nokia either, that is true, but it is not sufficient for WP7 success.

          Nokia though in my mind is totally to blame for being in a position where Microsoft could do what they have done. Had Nokia probably understood what happened when the IPh

          • You are assuming that Microsoft is doing this for logical short term business reasons. In fact the point is that Nokia became one of the companies which started challenging Microsoft seriously. They refused to take on board Windows Mobile and basically Microsoft's fight against Sony and Nokia was what distracted Microsoft and allowed Apple to get ahead. I think Microsoft is out for simple revenge and humiliation. If you assume that Microsoft will survive and be dominant then in terms of long term busine

          • You're talking now about stuff that happened way back when Microsoft had a 20% share of mobile, and was fighting for a fraction of a point. Nokia had huge share then, and could have counted coup, but they didn't. Much like Microsoft could have innovated in the space and didn't. A lot of water has gone under that bridge.

            Now Nokia seems to be trying to shed points as fast as they can, and Microsoft is looking up at one single point of share as an aspirational goal they hope they might achieve but don't kn

          • MS needs nothing. It could use Nokia to helps WP7 to become a success but if it doesn't, it will just try again with WP8. Something it is ALREADY doing right now. What happens to Nokia in the meantime isn't any concern of MS. If it dies, MS will just get another victim, if it survives... well ask HTC why it makes Android phones.

            And of course, if Nokia fails then MS has one less competitor, a competitor that with Symbian and its phones was a major reason MS wasn't sellings its own phone OS for years on end.

            N

        • Elop isn't to blame for Nokia's problems. OPK didn't do that great of a job to begin with.

  • From the article:

    The affected employees work in manufacturing, location and commerce, and supporting functions, Nokia said on Thursday.

    Unfortunately, it seems like the typical cut for a company in troubled straits.
    I really hope they make an awesome comeback on Windows Mobile. I loved their phones and would love to go back. Still wish they went Android, though.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:09PM (#37573308) Homepage Journal

      From the article:

      The affected employees work in manufacturing, location and commerce, and supporting functions, Nokia said on Thursday.

      Unfortunately, it seems like the typical cut for a company in troubled straits.

      I really hope they make an awesome comeback on Windows Mobile. I loved their phones and would love to go back. Still wish they went Android, though.

      Damning words:

      Nokia‘s new superphones will offer a superior user interface and a better, cloud-enabled experience than its chief competitors, the company’s top U.S executive told VentureBeat.

      The reliance by Apple and Android phones on the “app” as the central metaphor is “outdated,” he said.

      The rest of what he said [venturebeat.com]

      He doesn't get it. The board should sack him now and save time.

      • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Friday September 30, 2011 @08:26PM (#37573864)

        If you've used Windows Phone 7 you would understand what he means by the "app as the central metaphor" being outdated.

        I don't need a flickr app, a facebook app and a photo gallery app... I just want to look at my photos regardless of source.

        And I want that everywhere. If I email someone a photo I want to be able to email them from my local storage, SkyDrive, Facebook or whatever. The Hub model is far superior to the fragmented app model.

        • I don't need a flickr app, a facebook app and a photo gallery app [...] The Hub model is far superior to the fragmented app model. [N.B. edited to make it clear what I'm responding to]

          This is only true if you assume that all of the development of mobile photo handling on the internet has already happened. Or you assume that you can freeze that development for your system. In that case, photo storage is a commoditised thing. It doesn't make any difference whether you do it on Flikr or Google+. However, this isn't true. E.g. Social network photo storage interlinks the photo to a scary facial recognition system. Other people will start offering automated cropping and rotation correcti

        • I don't need a flickr app, a facebook app and a photo gallery app... I just want to look at my photos regardless of source.

          RSS blog aggregators already tried that approach, and it didn't work well.

          Applications provide context for the way in which you want to use content. Context that never-ending streams of nearly-identical posts simply don't have.

        • Not gonna fly. All these guys want their branding everywhere, and they're not going to participate if users aren't constantly made aware of who is serving them. Besides, each of these services have different options and functionality, and one generic "photos" function won't do 'em all.
      • "Damning words:

        Nokia‘s new superphones will offer a superior user interface and a better, cloud-enabled experience than its chief competitors, the company’s top U.S executive told VentureBeat.

        The reliance by Apple and Android phones on the “app” as the central metaphor is “outdated,” he said.

        The rest of what he said [venturebeat.com]

        He doesn't get it. The board should sack him now and save time."

        Unfortunately, it would be too little too late.

        They already committed probabl

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Meego and Maemo development were dirt cheap because they didn't have very many people working on it at all. The downside was that development was slow in comparison to environments with more resources behind them - but they are still well ahead of some other systems.
          I really can't understand why fanboys were raving about an environment that is now about to be dragged screaming into the 1990s with multitasking. Maybe that's why I've never even seen a smartphone with Windows on it.
          • Windows phones sucked for a very long time, and WP7 is having growing pains being brand new.

            Better late than never I guess in which Microsoft does very well and ends up being important later. NT and IE sucked and took several years to catch on. Some may argue they still suck, but that is besides the point. :-)

            Another poster mentioned non romance language support. It needs to do much catching up. The UI and responsiveness does look neat and if it can be merged with Windows 8 in the future they will be hope o

        • I think Amazon put to rest any idea that Andriod can't be made different enough. Not that it was all that compelling of an argument to begin with. HTC and Samsung had been skinning Andriod, pretty much, since day one.

          The question then becomes how deep in to the source do you have to go to get enough differentiation. There seems little question that Nokia had more developers familiar with linux than windows so it probably came down to familiarity on Elop's part.

          The thing that still confuses me about the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I just lost my job today...

    • by drougie (36782)

      I'm sorry, AC. Good luck. Maybe try to start up a thing ushering people to the cloud. Not much start-up investment, good chance you can handle it, not saturated yet, and you just need to know a few people to talk into letting you do it for them, then one client leads to more and eventually you're in the black again. Maybe.

  • by unity100 (970058)
    They made best handsets. the voice quality, both incoming and outgoing, are still spectacular. not found in any other device. sad that stuff peripheral to actual phone call quality is determining the fate of a handset maker.
    • There will still be a market for "feature phones".

      In fact I would have given up any of my "smart phones" that I had over the years for a flip-phone that supported all the 3g bands globally, had bluetooth and wi-fi hotspot capability and tethering that is not controlled by a telco, a magnetic charger cradle, good case with belt attachment, etc, all the basic standbys of a good phone.

      This is because with the advent of tablets the concept of a "smart phone" has become quite exposed for a kludge-compromise th

      • You want lit push buttons with that or will the rotary dial work OK?

        • Have fun pushing those virtual buttons on that touch screen with your face when the "face proximity" sensor steams up.

          Not all "new" tech is superior to the "old" tech just because its shiny or because some fashionistas think it ups their snob factor a few times. Everything has its place and its worth is measured by many different factors, some of them purely subjective from the user's perspective. This is why there is no "one-size-fits-all", "my-way-or-everyone-else-is-an-idiot" approach, although it appea

          • by Dogtanian (588974)

            This is also why many prefer the flip-phone format, despite the fashionistas trying to ram the glass-front brick down everyone's throats.

            You seem (here and elsewhere) to use "flip phone" as synonymous with "solid, traditional, non-smart mobile phone". Which obviously misses out the "bar" format of phones like the once ubiquitous Nokia 3310 [wikipedia.org].

            IIRC the "bar" form factor was much more common than the flip-phone/clamshell around the turn of the millennium, and that seems nice and functional too. The clamshell form factor seemed to reach its peak of popularity here in the UK around the mid-noughties (*), but since then they seem to have gone out

            • You seem (here and elsewhere) to use "flip phone" as synonymous with "solid, traditional, non-smart mobile phone". Which obviously misses out the "bar" format of phones like the once ubiquitous Nokia 3310.

              No, I specifically mean the mechanical format of a flip phone combined with good voice/data communication capabilities, yet with no emphasis on the "smart phone" functionality. Of course it is possible to produce a bar-format phone with these same capabilities but it was not what I meant.

              It is also possi

              • by amiga3D (567632)

                I like the flips for the fact I can shove it in my pocket with the knife, keys, change and what have you without worrying about the screen. It's friggin unbreakable, I've stepped on it.....twice. Dropped it a zillion times. It does only one thing but it does it great. It makes calls. I can talk on it. Amazing! And the battery lasts a week to ten days depending on usage. My smartphone toting friends are charging their batteries before the end of shift at work.....well...except for the apple guys.

                • It does only one thing but it does it great. It makes calls.

                  Well, I wish for a modern clam-shell to expand that definition to "it transmits/receives voice and data" so that it can become the go-between for any data device I fancy, be it my tablet or a laptop.

                  Other than that, you are right indeed, clam-shell phones come with what is in effect a self-contained protective hard-case. Another reason why I think an updated, data-capable model would sell well.

      • I don't think they have a flip-phone version, but I like Nokia's Eseries. And the E72 claims 12 hours of "talktime".

        • Flip is a must for me. I had literally upward of 40 phones over the years, starting with a lead-acid battery analog cell phone in the "purse" format, and I find the flip phone format far superior for normal phone use, hands down.

          When I look at how I use the phone, 90% of the time I will be talking after answering an incoming call on it and for that a flip phone is, to me, the most convenient because I can operate it one handed without looking at it and hold it up by tilting my head when I need two hands wi

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        This is because with the advent of tablets the concept of a "smart phone" has become quite exposed for a kludge-compromise that it is. A tablet is very good at web browsing, email, apps etc but a phone is a communication device and mostly sucks at those things due to its restrictive form factor.

        Well, clearly a smartphone's usability will be a compromise due to its limited dimensions.

        However- and I apologise for stating the blooming obvious here- they're generally that size so they fit in your pocket. A tablet won't.

        Your argument is apparently(?) that now tablets are here smartphones are no longer needed as we can use a non-smart phone for the "phone" bit and a tablet for the "smart" bit. Missing the point that this isn't much good if you want the "smart" bit on the go and don't have iPad-sized

        • Your argument is apparently(?) that now tablets are here smartphones are no longer needed as we can use a non-smart phone for the "phone" bit and a tablet for the "smart" bit. Missing the point that this isn't much good if you want the "smart" bit on the go and don't have iPad-sized pockets(!) (Or were you saying something else?)

          No, what I am saying that for many people, myself included, the usage patterns of the phone/tablet are such that we no longer need the functionality of the "smart phone" because th

          • by Dogtanian (588974)

            No, what I am saying that for many people, myself included, the usage patterns of the phone/tablet are such that we no longer need the functionality of the "smart phone" because that part has been transferred to the tablet and what remains is the functionality of a wireless voice/data communication device.

            Honestly, it sounds like you're putting forward your own personal opinion- which is quite valid in itself- as representative of a general trend in public opinion. (*)

            (Either that or you're suggesting that in your opinion the way many smartphone users use their devices is such that they would be better off with a tablet, even if they themselves haven't expressed- nor even consciously realised- that...?)

            At any rate, I don't agree with this. I believe that many people originally bought- and still buy- touc

            • This is because with the advent of tablets the concept of a "smart phone" has become quite exposed for a kludge-compromise that it is.

              as intended to be representative of a consensus rather than personal opinion because of the way it was phrased.

              It was phrased that way because it is the objective truth. But that does not negate the fact that for many people (in fact probably most) the kludgy compromise is still the most convenient.

              You interpreted my pointing out the obvious technical problems with glass

              • by Dogtanian (588974)

                It was phrased that way because it is the objective truth.

                If you had merely stated that it was a "compromise", you would of course be correct, as we already agreed. However, describing it as a "kludge compromise" carries a negative implication, which is not merely an "objective truth" nor representative of a general consensus- it's your opinion.

                You interpreted my pointing out the obvious technical problems with glass-front "smart phones" as a condemnation of all the users of the phones.

                No, I didn't. The way that you said it I interpreted as either (a) you implying that many people held similar opinions or (b) that many people's usage patterns backed up your assertion, even if they didn't realise it.

                Many will find that instead of usability gains they prefer for the thing to fit in their back jeans pocket. So I stated: "to each their own". Repeatedly.

                This i

                • If you had merely stated that it was a "compromise", you would of course be correct, as we already agreed. However, describing it as a "kludge compromise" carries a negative implication, which is not merely an "objective truth" nor representative of a general consensus- it's your opinion.

                  No, it is merely an emphasis. A matter of degree. I could have said a very, very, very poor compromise to the same effect and just used more words to do it.

                  The glass-front phones are not just a compromise, they are a very

      • by evilviper (135110)

        A tablet is very good at web browsing, email, apps etc but a phone (...) mostly sucks at those things due to its restrictive form factor.

        I couldn't disagree more. The web is HTML, which is a mark-up language, which can be displayed any way you like. I can squeeze it onto a 2-line LCD watch and not lose anything.

        E-mail is slightly more restrictive, in that you have to support about 80 column wide plain text, but no big loss if you wrap it, as long as you can rotate the phone and see what it's supposed to

        • The web is HTML, which is a mark-up language, which can be displayed any way you like. I can squeeze it onto a 2-line LCD watch and not lose anything.

          I pretty much have to ignore the rest of your post from this point on as a discussion of usability with someone who thinks that he "did not lose anything" by taking, say, a National Geographic Magazine or even the Amazon.com web site and putting it on a 2-line 0.1" monochrome LCD screen of a watch is rather pointless. Unless of course you've been frequenting

          • by evilviper (135110)

            I do love your fox news esque spin, ridiculing what I said without any argument or supporting evidence at all.
            I can also assure you I have no desire to sway your pov, just to point out many ways in which your statements are factually and objectively wrong, rather than leave them unchallenged and potentially misguiding passers by.

            • just to point out many ways in which your statements are factually and objectively wrong, rather than leave them unchallenged and potentially misguiding passers by ...

              None of which you achieved, not to mention that by opening your post with such a whooper, your task became nigh impossible with whatever tiny amount of credibility was left to you after that...

              I do love your fox news esque spin, ridiculing what I said without any argument or supporting evidence at all.

              Actually, you did your own ridicule all

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      They made best handsets. the voice quality, both incoming and outgoing, are still spectacular. not found in any other device. sad that stuff peripheral to actual phone call quality is determining the fate of a handset maker.

      Quality of hardware and user experience mattered to Apple, that's why they aren't bankrupt 10 years ago and a subject of pub trivia. A lot of companies that tried that didn't pull it off. Nokia appear to be trusting Microsoft to manage their fortunes ... considering how many of Microsoft's killer products are only very obscure trivia now, I think this is a very risky move - Microsoft will go on making money from Office, Windows n+1 and SQL Server, but when Nokia's strategy fails they'll have nothing - not

      • They made best handsets. the voice quality, both incoming and outgoing, are still spectacular. not found in any other device. sad that stuff peripheral to actual phone call quality is determining the fate of a handset maker.

        Quality of hardware and user experience mattered to Apple, that's why they aren't bankrupt 10 years ago and a subject of pub trivia.

        You seem to be implying that Apple also has excellent voice quality. This strikes me as funny because we usually ridicule anyone breaking up on a conference call by asking them if they're using an iPhone.

      • Quality of hardware and user experience mattered to Apple, that's why they aren't bankrupt 10 years ago and a subject of pub trivia. A lot of companies that tried that didn't pull it off. Nokia appear to be trusting Microsoft to manage their fortunes ... considering how many of Microsoft's killer products are only very obscure trivia now, I think this is a very risky move

        It's not as risky as it seems - quality of experience is I think why they went with Windows Mobile 7 and not Android. They realized they

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      You say stuff peripheral, I say better ways to communicate.

    • After reading some information on HOW they chose to close the Cluj, Romania factory, I suddenly don't mourn them anymore.

      In February 2011, they had some rather secretive discussions with local authorities, informing them that they plan to close the factory down before the end of the year. Nothing official, nothing written though.

      In April 2011, they sent a memo to all employees from the factory, telling them there's nothing to worry about; that Nokia has no intention of shutting the factory down.

      Fast-forward

    • by AftanGustur (7715)

      They made best handsets. the voice quality, both incoming and outgoing, are still spectacular. not found in any other device. sad that stuff peripheral to actual phone call quality is determining the fate of a handset maker.

      I have owned quite a few Nokia GSM telephones and considered them as one of the best also.

      My last telephone however is the Google Nexus S, and after a few hours of playing with is I was completely blown away when I spoke to my brother over Skye. The sound quality is on pair with what you get with your PC and a good headset, crystal clear and up-close.

  • Er, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:40PM (#37573498)

    Nokia is planning to lay off an additional 3,500 employees, as the company continues to restructure after announcing its decision to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

    So they are preemptively firing people based on their expectations of how well the Windows Phones are going to sell?

    • Right,

      What DO 3500 ex-employees do with themselves in each of these layoffs? Surely they can reband together and do ... something cool?

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        Presumably they could start another phone manufacturer. In a few months Finland will need one.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        What DO 3500 ex-employees do with themselves in each of these layoffs? Surely they can reband together and do ... something cool?

        If Nokia were a co-op then they could, because they would own company assets, and they could take some with them.

    • NO they are firing the employees because the CEO needs to update his 3rd vacation home in the grand caymen islands. Those hurricanes damaged the tennis courts. God how aweful and poor guy.

      ... in all seriousness, Nokia is not doing that well and is dying while it blows hundreds of millions and maybe even billions into Windows development and Wall Street is not happy. You need to have good debt to assets ratio through crooked cost accounting by firing people to make your ratios look better to day traders and

  • What a shame, since they were right on the money with the N900, and would have been on the N950. The new Nokia slogan might as well be "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish non WP7 products".

    Given that the N9 is crippled through deliberate exclusion from the US/UK/Germany markets, the only thing Nokia is becoming is an also-ran Windows Phone manufacturer. That product was designed to fail at sales so that Elop can point at it with some numbers and justify killing it.

    Given that Nokia has gone this direction, is th

    • by Microlith (54737)

      Given that Nokia has gone this direction, is there anything that has the N900's featureset/openness?

      Unfortunately, not thus far. Everything else out there seems to be Android laden, or otherwise locked down or missing features. I have yet to come across anything that includes 32GB of storage AND an SD card slot, let alone running an environment that offers a standard Linux userspace that is readily available.

      There might be hope, what with Nvidia releasing hardfp drivers for MeeGo (which could be repurposed)

    • Maemo 6 inside. So you've got a relatively standard Linux box there.

      Of course they have decided not to sell the thing in their main markets... Like the USA, Germany, UK so you probably couldn't even buy one if it was an apple killer. Genius...

      With that kind of decision making within the company, we have an explanation of the stock price drop from $40 to $5.
       

  • Some perspective? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by airfoobar (1853132) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:59PM (#37573642)
    Nokia has over 130,000 employees. Generally, layoffs are not a good sign for a company, however in this case they were expected since they are making major changes to their product line. Is there really a story here? Honest question.
    • by Wizzu (30521)

      Nokia has over 130,000 employees.

      I don't think it's that many. There's a graph in an Finnish online news article [yle.fi], and while the text is in Finnish, the graph should be pretty clear. The figure was about 120,000 employees in 2010 according to the graph. It probably ends before any of the current wave of layoffs have been included.

      In the graph, the big jump around 2006 is probably when Nokia-Siemens Networks was created. If so, including the NSN employees is a bit misleading because generally NSN is thought of as a separate entity, and they

    • Nokia has over 130,000 employees.

      Well, *there* is the problem. Apple has roughly 50,000 - and makes more phones than Nokia, plus they make iPods, and tablets, and computers, Oh, and operating systems. So if Nokia wants to reduce the company to Apple's size, this is the first 3,500 out of 80,000, or less than 5% of their excess.

      • I suspect you're right. Nokia will soon be cut to the bone. I fear what 80k people suddenly losing their jobs will do to an already troubled European economy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am one of the affected employees.

    Of the 3,500 people, 2,200 is the factory in Romania; the production there will be moved closer to the market in Asia. The rest 1,300 is mostly Location & Commerce, which is basically Navteq and the former ex-Services/Solutions/Software division joined.

    This change has relatively little to do with the decision to go with WP7, much as people here like to bash that (and I love MeeGo myself). Even if the choice had been MeeGo instead of WP7, I suspect these layoffs would'v

  • Well, one can't blame NOKIA (or at least the sane management/engineers still left) blame for not trying: Say hello to "Meltemi" - NOKIA's new LInux-based OS for feature phones: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/09/is-nokias-s40-replacement-os-a-defense-against-android-feature-phones.ars [arstechnica.com]
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      So it's Windows for "smart"phones and Linux for the "dumb". Nice Redmond marketing there.
  • I still don't understand why they didn't choose Android. Nokia is known as a phone maker, not as an OS maker, so using a third-party commoditized OS wouldn't have hurt their brand. A Nokia phone would still have been a Nokia phone.
  • A bit of background info: Nokia once thought to have Maemo/MeeGo (Linux) as its OS for its highend phones (replacing symbian), keep Symbian for the midrange feature phones (not quite smart phones) and S40 for the low end.

    The N900 was that high end phone and it sold out. Whether that means it did well is hard to say, after all if you produce one unit and you sell it, you are sold out, but still, there was a demand. The N900 was however a trial phone, it was deliberately made to be a developers phone to test

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