Skip to main content

Nokia sale is a good deal for both parties

As Microsoft sets out to buy Nokia, CNN takes a look through some of the Finnish mobile giant's unique designs. Pictured here is the Nokia Mobira Cityman, announced in 1989. As Microsoft sets out to buy Nokia, CNN takes a look through some of the Finnish mobile giant's unique designs. Pictured here is the Nokia Mobira Cityman, announced in 1989.
HIDE CAPTION
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
Nokia through the ages
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nokia had a tough few years before Elop slowly started to turn it around, says Stuart Miles
  • Deal will benefit Microsoft the same way that making smartphones has for Apple, he says
  • Not much will change in the short term, but Surface tablet "likely to be rebranded or ditched"
  • Microsoft's ambition to become hardware company is well and truly realized, Miles says

Editor's note: Technology journalist Stuart Miles is CEO and founder of gadget review website Pocket-lint. He can be found tweeting at @stuartmiles.

London (CNN) -- It's the deal that's been rumored since Stephen Elop joined Nokia from Microsoft three years ago, and now it's become reality. Microsoft is to buy Nokia, and become a phone manufacturer ... for the second time.

That's right, Nokia isn't the first phone company to be bought by Microsoft. It bought Danger in 2008, which it then used to launch the Microsoft Kin phone. That effort lasted around nine months before the whole adventure got canned and the world moved on.

This time around promises to be different.

Microsoft to buy Nokia's phone business

Nokia, which was the number one seller of mobile phones globally in 2007, had a tough few years before the stewardship of Elop slowly started to turn it around.

Who will replace Ballmer at Microsoft?

Watch more: Microsoft to buy Nokia's phone business

The Lumia range, which now includes half-a-dozen handsets, is still a minnow in the smartphone world in terms of market share, but it is slowly gaining traction. More and more people are going Lumia.

Since its rebirth, Nokia has over taken BlackBerry in around 34 markets, according to the company, and things are looking up following the success, in relative terms, of its latest batch of Lumia handsets.

The race is far from won, but at least, unlike BlackBerry, it is heading in the right direction.

The deal will likely benefit Microsoft in the same way creating and making smartphones has for Apple. The Cupertino-based company has for the past six years been able to make phones, market them, and sell them in its own stores.

As retailers throughout the last century can show (Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Dixons in the UK,) if you make and sell your own products, the margins can be higher, and the profits better.

As the world's austerity drive continues, every little bit helps, and Microsoft will be able to reap those rewards even more once it owns Nokia outright.

So what next for both parties? Well not much is likely to change in the short term, but Nokia will more than likely move into the tablet arena a lot quicker.

Likewise, Microsoft's Surface tablet is likely to be rebranded or ditched completely, in favor of something more Nokia-flavored. Microsoft will license the Nokia name for the next 10 years.

Then there is the former Nokia CEO, Elop. Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that he'll be stepping down over the next year, and Elop will surely have his sights firmly set on replacing him.

Elop stepped down as Nokia's CEO on Monday to become the head of the company's devices and services business. He will continue leading Nokia's phones business as the devices chief at Microsoft.

Whether you believe Nokia has done well or not, Elop has done a fantastic job at Nokia, and there's very little stopping him. Being a Microsoft employee will only help his cause.

Perhaps Steve Ballmer wasn't such a bad CEO after all, especially considering that the $7.2 billion price tag for Nokia is less than the $8.5 billion it paid for Skype. This deal has just as much, if not more potential.

But ultimately, by buying Nokia, Microsoft's ambition to become a hardware company is well and truly realized.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stuart Miles

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT