Nokia’s smart future

Resent news tell that Nokia has already in November acquired Smarterphone, A norwegian company that makes a lightweight platform that turns feature phone
hardware into smartphone user experience. There’s not that much information available about their software which used to be called “Mimiria”, but it seems to play nicely with Linux.

Just day or two ago Eldar tweeted that Nokia executives will be meeting with people from Microsoft to set the final terms for selling Nokia’s smartphone business to Microsoft. This is not exactly the first time Eldar is informing us about this possibility. In Forbes interview he says the discussions started in May 2011, but stopped during the summer. According to Eldar the discussions started again in November after weak Lumia sales figures and negative feedback from carriers.

Analysts have hard time figuring out what Microsoft would actually achieve with this move. Nokia side is more clear. Smartphone business is not profitable for Nokia right now. It could be in future, but the future seems to be pretty uncertain. Selling it out would allow Nokia (or investors) to cash out immediately, instead of waiting for future profits. On the low end handsets Nokia still seems to shine and the future does not look that bad either. With Meltemi in the oven, Smarterphone acquired and Qt fully up and running, Nokia seems to be well equipped for ruling the low end spectrum of phones. Kicking out smart phone business would allow Nokia to focus and cut more costs.

Even if Nokia would sell out smart phones, it would not leave the smartphone business. The division between feature phones and smart phones is already very unclear and in future all mobile phones sold will be pretty smart. By focusing on cheaper end, Nokia would challenge Android and iOS in field they don’t already rule. There is lots of talk about Android entering the lower price categories but can it really match the user experience Nokia could provide with devices designed from ground up for more limited hardware?