Less than three years after paying $7.2 billion for Nokia, Microsoft have announced the end of the Microsoft Lumia phone range, the loss of 1,850 jobs and a $950 million write down from the business.
Microsoft will be cutting around 1,850 jobs from it’s Lumia smartphone division less than three years after acquiring Nokia for $7.2 billion at the end of 2013. It was confirmed that the majority of the job losses will be felt in the heart of Microsoft’s Mobile division in Finland, with another 500 roles disappearing globally, costing around $200 million in severance pay.
In total Microsoft will take a $950 million write off in it’s exit from the consumer smart phone market. This will come as a disappointment to many who enjoyed Microsoft’s relatively inexpensive handsets and alternative to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Microsoft’s previous CEO Steve Balmer has hoped the purchase of Nokia would give Microsoft’s Windows phone operating system a boost against it’s two rivals, aiming rot reach around 15% share of the smart phone market, however they dropped to less than 1% share during the first quarter of 2016.
While this news certainly marks the end of the Microsoft Lumia smart phones, it is unlikely Microsoft are done with Windows 10 for smart phones completely. There’s been rumours their Surface team is working on a ‘Surface’ phone for release in 2017, as well as HP’s recently announced 6″ HP Elite X3.
So where will this leave Microsoft and their dreams of mobile domination? Likely another casualty of iOS and Android, lying in ruin alongside Blackberry, HP’s Web OS and Nokia’s own Symbian. It’s unlikely that other manufacturers will ever want to take a chance on Windows 10 on a smart phone, when it appears that even Microsoft have abandoned it.