updated 07:55 am EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
Nokia cuts 4K jobs and offloads Symbian
Nokia on Wednesday took more drastic steps in a bid to trim many of its costs in the Windows Phone transition. The company planned to move all its Symbian software development to the consulting firm Accenture. It would see 3,000 jobs move directly to Accenture with a deal signed in the summer and all employees changing hands by the end of 2011.
The deal would see Accenture provide apps and services to support Windows Phone efforts at Nokia and others in the environment. When possible, Accenture would be one of the first Nokia would reach for smartphone and service development help.
Independently of the Symbian shift, Nokia also planned to slash about 4,000 extra jobs by the end of 2012. The cuts would come in waves as teams complete products and Nokia built its production up for Windows Phone. Nokia hoped to cut its expenses for 2013 by the equivalent of $1.47 billion.
The combined 7,000 displaced jobs may create an uproar among Nokia staff, who already protested the OS switch even before cuts were announced. Some at the company have criticized Nokia chief Stephen Elop for allegedly abandoning Nokia's distinctiveness and emptying the company's core talent. Elop has countered by arguing the cuts were necessary to adapt Nokia to the modern era, that the company would stand out through customization, and that Nokia was on a burning platform where the only choice was to take a chance.
By its own estimates, Nokia's total phone share has dropped below 30 percent and is quickly putting it within striking distance of competitors, particularly in smartphones where Apple and Google are still rising. The company is still successful in budget phones for the developing world but has struggled to stay relevant as Samsung carved into the mid-range of conventional cellphones and Apple, RIM, and multiple Android supporters have been taking over the smartphone category.