Nokia will stop making Nokia X devices and will also cut 18,000 jobs, according to new owner Microsoft.
A memo from Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella has outlined the company’s plans to cut down its Nokia handset division, scrapping up to 18,000 jobs and Nokia’s Android-powered X line of devices.
The plans are part of Microsoft’s shift to a cloud-based software model, which involves slimming down the devices arm of the company. As Nadella said in his memo: “We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organisation and develop leaner business processes. Culture change means we will do things differently.”
Later in the memo, Nadella said that Microsoft aims to halve its Nokia staff over the next 12 months. That’ll make it the largest layoff cycle in the device manufacturer’s history.
Microsoft also plans to cut the X series of devices from Nokia’s hardware portfolio.
Nokia’s X range was first showcased at Mobile World Congress in February this year, and although the handsets kept Nokia’s styling, they exchanged the Windows Phone platform for the more favourable Android (or at least, a bastardisation of Android).
The Nokia X, X+ and XL were due to be priced at €89, €99 and €109 (£73.50, £81.70 and £90) respectively, but Microsoft has decided it would rather use its lower-end Lumia range of Windows Phone-powered devices to capture the budget scene, rather than extending its reach with Android.
Nadella said: “We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.”
Microsoft’s mobile devices chief Stephen Elop followed up on Nadella’s email to employees, saying: “We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.”
With Nokia’s large marketshare in developing territories – particularly throughout Africa – the manufacturer thought it could bring Android to the masses, but it seems the company hasn’t had as much success as first imagined and wants to commit to Windows Phone instead.