Nokia to start talking to Microsoft about phone unit sale next week

Remember all those conspiracy theories after Nokia Microsoft Windows Phone deal was announced in February?

That Stephen Elop – ex-Microsoft Nokia CEO, is just a Trojan Horse, sent to Finland to pillage the company and sell Nokia to Microsoft  on the cheap? They sounded pretty far fetched at the time to me.

Not anymore. It seems that the deal of selling Nokia to Microsoft is now on the table.

 

Today Eldar Murtazin had this quip on his blog:

Next week Nokia will start the negotiations about the sale of it’s phone unit to Microsoft. For now the results of the negotiations won’t be public, but the deal might close before the end of 2011. Both companies are in a big hurry.

If this came from any other source, I probably would have dismissed it. But coming from a guy who broke the news about the first Nokia Windows Phone deal, told us about the launch of OVI Store weeks before it happened,  was “reported to authorities”  by Nokia for previewing unannounced phones, and just last week told us that Nokia will kill off OVI brand, this rumor sounds much more plausible.

I’m starting to wonder if this is really the beginning of the end of Nokia?

Update: Nokia PR team stepped in on this issue here in comments and on Twitter with a sort of  denial:

We normally don’t comment on rumours as you know, but we have to say that Eldar’s rumours are obviously getting less accurate with every passing moment.

While casting some doubts – it actually does not sound like and outright denial. Something along the lines of “We are not in any negotiations about the sale of the company and do not have any plans to enter into one” – would have sounded more convincing. But I’m not sure if even that would help much at this point.

All it takes, is a look back about how the original story about Nokia Windows phone deal unfolded, and how surprised people at all levels below the very top were. I bet that in January very few people at Nokia were aware that dropping Symbian and Meego, and going Windows Phone 100% was even an option.

So this time, if Elop and his team are starting sales talks, I’d say there’s an extremely good chance that very few people outside of inner circle will know anything about them.

And given his history with former scoops, especially going on the record like this, I’m inclined to trust Eldar until I know differently.

 

 

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • http://twitter.com/brainimpact Craig

    Eldar did not break the Nokia WP7 deal, he got the announcement totally wrong he said Nokia would not change OS and the deal was for services only not WP7.
    Only thing he got correct was they was in talks but reuters and many other sites reported they was talking too at same time.

  • Anonymous

    We normally don’t comment on rumours as you know, but we have to say that Eldar’s rumours are obviously getting less accurate with every passing moment..

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    It would be good if before commenting you get your facts straight. Especially when this only requires checking the link in the article above. 

    Eldar did break the story about Nokia/WP on Dec. stating specifically that Nokia is in talks with Microsoft to produce a new line of phones with Windows Phone OS. Not services, a new line of phones with WP OS. 

    And yes, he did not say Nokia will drop it’s own OSes… Because it was Dec.20th and at the time Nokia themselves probably were not sure whether they’ll do that or not. On Dec. 20 Nokia was still in talks with Google and Microsoft, and only got to final agreement on Feb. 10th

    Btw, Reuters, WSJ and others ran with the story after Eldar broke it. There was one story before in Venture Beat, I think, sayin the same thing, but it had much less credibility at the time and few took it seriously 

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Hi Ray, 

    I know this rumor sounds really far fetched. But so did the rumor about the Nokia Windows Phone thing in December/January. 

    I remember how that deal went through, and how surprised people at all levels below the very top were. I bet that in January very few people at Nokia were aware that dropping Symbian and Meego, and going Windows Phone 100% was even an option.   

    So this time, if Elop and his team are starting sales talks, I’d say there’s an extremely good chance that very few people outside of inner circle will know anything about them. 

    And given his history with former scoops, especially going on the record like this, I’m inclined to trust Eldar until I know differently.   

  • Anonymous

    A year ago I would have said No way.

    I still think it does not make sense from MS point of view (too long to explain to most of you, but IPR, strategy, MS mfg operations, partner contracts, etc all play into this).

    What would be left of Nokia if they sold they  “phone unit”.

    NSN, which they are also selling.

    What would Nokia become? A holding company for IPR?

    Cease to exist? Return cash to shareholders.

    I think this is still one of the wackiest rumors out there.

    Nokia might be negotiationg the sale of something, but the whole of mobile phone operations?

    Highly unlikely.

  • Anonymous

    A year ago I would have said No way.

    I still think it does not make sense from MS point of view (too long to explain to most of you, but IPR, strategy, MS mfg operations, partner contracts, etc all play into this).

    What would be left of Nokia if they sold they  “phone unit”.

    NSN, which they are also selling.

    What would Nokia become? A holding company for IPR?

    Cease to exist? Return cash to shareholders.

    I think this is still one of the wackiest rumors out there.

    Nokia might be negotiationg the sale of something, but the whole of mobile phone operations?

    Highly unlikely.

  • Guest

    If you are not Elop in disguise how would you know…  you know… 

  • http://www.bigjobsboard.com/ Steven Jobs

     if it happens so, then i think its the time for Nokia phones to perform a lot more better when it comes to browsing applications. Hope that Microsoft can fix this one up. 

  • http://twitter.com/Translatethis27 Translatethis27

     Microsoft show us and NOKIA the sales numbers…..

  • bazza

     Wow, you must be sleeping in bed with eldar the way you trust his so much like a wife.

    He may be right, but he is still a rat and sleaze bag reporter. IMHO.

    Ii lost my trust in him a long time ago.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the coalition of the losers.

    It seems RIM might join in as well.

  • http://twitter.com/rselva rselva

    Aren’t all reporters the same ?

  • Anonymous

    Yup, Murtazin has a history of scoops. Like when he said he got to play with the Ovi desktop browser that Nokia was developing. Unwired View’s headline: “Confirmed: Nokia OVI desktop internet browser is for real.” That one really turned out to be true! Of course we should trust him!

  • Thai_kansas

     If Elop is not a Nokia CEO then I would think this is definitely a crazy thought.  However, from day one I have always thought that Elop is like a spy trojan coming from MSFT out to get Nokia.  For years, MSFT has always dreaming of entering the mobile market so they have it all planned out.  In order of execution, here are major things that has been done by Elop since he became a Nokia CEO:

    - Joint MSFT on Windows 7 platform
    - Fired 7000 Nokia employees who currently working on Symbian and Meegoo.

    Nokia is now like riding on the tiger’s back !  Nokia is now totally depending on MSFT.  Now, MSFT can freely force Nokia to the point of sale !