Rumor: Stephen Elop to resign as Nokia CEO in 2012, smartphone unit to be sold off to Microsoft

We’re barely a week into 2012 and rumors are already resurfacing that at some point over the next 12 months Nokia will sell their smartphone unit to Microsoft. We can’t remember the first time such rumors appeared, but we do know the last time we covered this story. Just a couple of weeks ago Danske Bank claimed that during the first half of 2012 Nokia would do the unthinkable and sell their smartphone unit to Stephen Elop’s former employeer. Today, thanks to a string of Twitter messages from Eldar Murtazin, Editor in Chief of Mobile-Review, we now have more details as to what’s going to go down. Here are the relevant messages:

01: Steve Balmer, Andy Lees and Stephen Elop, Kai Ostamo will meet in Las Vegas to finalize agreement about Nokia smartphone unit. Bye Nokia

02: NOKIA smartphone unit could be transfered with one or two plants. Second half of 2012. Anouncement date isnt defined

03: Nokia brand wouldnt be used for smartphones in this new MS unit. Thats a kind of deal between Elop and Balmer

04: Nokia brand will be used for dumb phones and updated category of devices which they count as smartphone competitors. I dont believe in that

05: Most interesting thing about Nokia/MS deal that everything depends only from MS now. If MS decide then deal will be closed in 2012

06: MS isn’t sure that company need own plants/R&D for hardware etc. But MS definitely want to receive all patents connected with smartphones

07: Nokia chairman – Risto Siilasmaa. The main goal to finalize deal of mr. Elop with MS and replace him with another person (2012)

08: Stephen Elop will be resign as Nokia CEO in 2012 (I told that several times but repeat again).

09: MS partners aren’t keen about WP7 and saying that publicly. MS aren’t glad about that. MS want to create own successful products (like XBox)

10: Microsoft have a good examples from mobile market (Google Nexus, Motorola Mobility + Google; Apple with in-house R&D). They need to be equal

You’ve got to remember that Eldar predicted Nokia’s move to Windows Phone before anyone even thought it was an option on the table. Yes, Eldar has got things wrong before in the past, but this is something we feel will definitely happen mainly due to Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and Apple’s achievements thanks to them becoming an integrated player. Why not have a smartphone brand that releases one to three devices every year?

  • Seems like he forgot that Andy Lees was benched from Windows Phone…

  • Stefan, stop reading stupid Murtazin! he is not predicting anything, he is repeating rumors already repeated several times by everybody. i dont even speak about Risto case – Jorma must be replaced anyway this year, it was decided and openly communicated 2 years ago… “news” “predictions”, aha aha…:))))))

  • This would be a big step for Microsoft. they should not take this step unless the Nokia
    branded Windows phone 7 smart phones do not sell well and not profitable for Nokia to make.I always felt that Nokia should have made both android smart phones and windows smart phones. The Nokia Apollo class Windows smart phones are coming that are going to be TECH wish just as good as any Andriod or Iphone ( Iphone retina display make it strong). IF these Nokia  Apollo class smart phones sell well than there will probably be no need for Nokia to sell their smart phone division. it will take a year of  Nokia Apollo class smart phones to be on the market  to know if they are going to sell well. I think Nokia will sell enough of them to stay afloat and not have to sell out to microsoft

    • Wp7 has failed, thats the fact

      • and again here you are stating the same message. Do you have anything constructive to add to this thread or do you just look to post the exact same negative message everytime?
        In respect to Nokia being purchased by MS I think it sounds like a plan that was put in place from the date Nokia decided to bank their smart phone business on Windows Phone. An approach that I think was risky. Why not take a lower risk approach and adopt both Android and Windows phone? Nokia stated that the reason was they could not differentiate themselves from other Android devices. However their main differentiators currently on Windows phone are the applications and the great hardware. So they are equally at home on either O/S.
        Also Windows phone is at a very low base and currently doesn’t appear to be providing large growth whereas Android is growing dramatically. Having both would therefore be a lower risk approach.

        Having said all of that “it looks like partt of the original Windows phone adoption plan” I can’t see this being a good idea. Why would MS buy a smartphone business that is plummeting in market share. Even more so now that Nokia are effectively doing most of what MS would do anyway why take on the risk of buying Nokia? For Nokia, what would be left? The “dumphone” this is also a dramatically reducing market.

        This sounds like a bad move for all concerned.

  • Moe

    Oh rumor mill… I hope MS doesn’t buy Nokia or it will go the way of Danger, Remember Danger? it was a cool device that not only got killed by MS but the brand butchered to dead. MS told us that they had the next best thing (Microsoft KIN) and we all know how that ended.

  • Only M$ is interested in Nokia’s patent? I think Google and Apple are just as interested seeing the number of lawsuits from each side.

    Which again reinforce the idea that Elop is not a neutral party in this Nokia/M$ setup.

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