The big news this morning is that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Nokia’s mobile handset business as part of its quest to evolve into a ‘devices and services’ business. They’ve agreed to pay £4.6bn according to The Guardian for Nokia’s troubled handset business.
It’s popular to write-off Microsoft and Nokia, particularly in the consumer mobile space where Apple and Samsung have run away with the market. But the business market is different – Nokia is still a trusted brand, particularly in certain vertical sectors. But there’s no doubt the move to smartphones is causing them to lose share.
We’re a licenced service provider for O2 and Vodafone in the UK so have a pretty good insight into what businesses are buying today. Our statistics based on the number of handsets we’ve provided to businesses so far in 2013 shows that actually Nokia is still more than holding its own:
Nokia – 29%
BlackBerry – 27%
Apple – 19%
HTC – 13%
Samsung – 12%
Microsoft and Nokia have obviously been working closely together for some years; this new deal will clearly cement that. But other forces are at work in the market. BlackBerry 10 may cause a threat to Microsoft and the proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies could mean Apple and Samsung take more of a share in the business market.
So will businesses be reassured by today’s announcement and boost Microsoft’s fortunes? Only time will tell. In the meantime if you’re interested in reading more about Nokia and Microsoft, few people have better insight and have written more detailed analysis than Tomi Ahonen.