Exactly 5 year ago today, on September the 3rd at 6 am CET, Nokia announced that it sold its historic Devices and Services business to Microsoft in a deal worth 5.44 billion euros in total. In short, Nokia sold its smartphone and feature phone division for 3.79 billion euros and for a 10-year non-exclusive license for the whole D&S patent portfolio (that remained at Nokia) got an additional 1.65 billion euros from Microsoft.
Five years ago I was quite confused about this deal, but from today’s perspective, Nokia made a great deal. Of course, every Nokia fan has dreams about Symbian or switching to Android in 2014 when the WP contract was set to expire, but after reading “Operation Elop” and from different articles during the last 5 years, I think the deal Nokia made with Microsoft was a great deal for Nokia.
For Microsoft, not that much. Last night, while preparing this article that was scheduled for publishing exactly at 6am for symbolic reasons, I was searching for a presentation Microsoft made during the acquisition time. I remember the presentation because it featured predictions that we can now call silly, while back then they were “optimistic”, we can say. Microsoft removed the ppt from its website, but using the Internet time machine WebArchieve it’s possible to retrieve it. The presentation, that you can download from the cloud HERE, states that in 2018 (current year) Microsoft expects to sell 250 million mobile devices. Among a lot of information about the acquisition, there is a slide (link) that confirms that not a single Nokia patent related to technology wasn’t to Microsoft, but just licensed for 10 years. Judging from its share price, dropping the phone business was a good call for Microsoft.
All in all, HMD Global is now the most exciting company in the Nokiasphere and we are eagerly awaiting new Nokia devices that could carry familiar brands and hopefully feature great new technologies.
The original Nokia press release was also deleted from the official website, but the internet remembers everything and the 6am press release can be found HERE, thanks again to WebArchieve.