Nokia Announces Another Shakeup

Finland’s Nokia is still by far the world’s largest handset marker, but the company has been largely eclipsed in the smartphone market by the likes of BlackBerries, Android-based devices, and the Apple iPhone—and the company is once again reorganizing itself in a bid to do something about it. Nokia will be simplifying its structure into three core business units—Mobile Solutions, Mobile Phones, and Markets—in hopes of becoming nimbler and giving its upcoming devices and platforms a better shot against rivals.

“Nokia’s new organizational structure is designed to speed up execution and accelerate innovation, both short-term and longer-term,” said Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, in a statement. “We believe that this will allow us to build stronger mobile solutions—a portfolio of products and integrated services that connect people and enable new ways of communicating, sharing, and experiencing mobility.”

Now, at first blush it might make sense that the Mobile Phone unit would handle, oh, perhaps phones, but that’s not entirely true: the Mobile Solutions group will hand the upper end of Nokia’s offerings, including the all-important mobile computing and smartphone devices—which will run Symbian^3 and the upcoming MeeGo operating system (underway via a partnership with Intel). The Mobile Phones unit will instead hand Nokia’s bread and butter feature phones, focusing on Series 40 devices—which, to Nokia’s credit, remains the planet’s move broadly-deployed mobile operating system. Nokia’s new Mobile Solutions unit will subsume Nokia’s previous Services division, and will handle Nokia’s Ovi family of services for smartphones and mobile Internet devices, including mapping, mail, online stores, Ovi Life Tools, and more. In addition to handling smartphones, the Mobile Solutions unit will also work on bringing those services to the more affordable phones offered by Nokia’s new Mobile Phones unit—remember, one of the most common ways people in developing markets get on the Internet is via a phone…and it’s not usually a smartphone. The Mobile Solutions and Mobile Phone groups will have their own management and will run their own research and development efforts.

The Markets unit will focus on getting Nokia’s devices into supply chains and handling sales.

Nokia has seen its market value slide in recent weeks, especially following its recent first quarter financials. The company has recently moved to reassure investors that its forthcoming Symbian^3 and MeeGo devices will put the company solidly back into the smartphone game.

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