Rumor: Microsoft Buying Nokia Smartphone Division

Just a few days ago I talked a little about what might happen if Microsoft got involved in hardware (PCs, tablets, phones, etc) and whether or not it was a good idea.

Now new rumors have surfaced regarding an old claim: Microsoft may purchase Nokia’s smartphone division.

The claim says that key execs at the firms will meet in Las Vegas imminently to finalize the sale. This means that Nokia would instead be a producer of ‘dumb’ phones and smartphone alternatives for here on out.

The rumor also suggests that Elop will resign as Nokia CEO sometime this year, while Nokia shifts over its smartphone business officially sometime in the second half of 2012.

This move doesn’t seem completely far-fetched as Google just did this exact same thing with Motorola recently, so weirder things have occurred.

This is overlooking a few things though. First off, Nokia UK’s direct response to this rumor:

We’ve put these rumours to rest a long time ago. The focus for Nokia is on executing on our partnership around Windows Phone and growing the ecosystem, and each company has the tools they need to do so.

My second big reason why I feel this is unlikely is that Nokia has put in tons of new work in pushing Windows Phone in an attempt to regain marketshare in the US and other major markets.

Jumping ship now seems like a waste of time and resources.

Nokia and Microsoft have more to gain working together, at least in my opinion.

For Nokia, working as one of Microsoft’s closest/biggest partners in the smartphone (and hopefully tablet) sector is a good way to regain lost marketshare in places like the US.

For Microsoft? In a previous article I talked a bit about how Symbian is still the most in-use smartphone OS in the world. For those who don’t remember or know, Symbian is a former Nokia venture and something they have finally basically abandoned.

If those in the developing world recognize that Windows Phone is associated strongly with Nokia, the maker of their current OS, then they are more likely willing to upgrade their next phone to a WP Nokia headset (as long as the price is right, that is).

Also, Microsoft has enough to worry about and adding another company to its belt isn’t probably at the top of their list if it doesn’t have any real and visible advantage.

To summarize, I really don’t think this rumor has any merit. It just doesn’t make sense.

The only way this will happen is if Nokia has already given up on the US market thanks to slow Lumia sales but it seems too early to make this decision, especially with new models like the 900 arriving in the US later this year.

Of course I have been wrong before and don’t claim to have any ‘insider’ knowledge to back this up. I’m just going on the logic that if Nokia has spent so much time and resources on upping its Windows Phone efforts, now seems like an odd time to back out.

What do you think about all of this? Could the rumors prove true or do you agree that the timing just doesn’t seem right? Share your thoughts below!

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