Stuart Breckenridge

Microsoft Exiting Consumer Phone Market

Peter Bright (via ArsTechnica):

Microsoft bought Nokia’s Devices and Services business in 2013 for $7.1 billion. In July last year, Microsoft laid off 7,800 of the staff from that acquisition and took an impairment charge of $7.6 billion. The remaining feature phone portion of the business was sold off last week for $350 million. With today’s announcement, the smartphone hardware business is being all but wiped out. There will be one last impairment charge of approximately $950 million, of which $200 million is severance pay.

What I said in July 2015 following the restructure announcement:

It’s hard not to see this as both a failed investment and the beginning of the end for Microsoft built Windows Phone hardware.

The acquisition of Nokia was a reactionary one, a last ditch attempt from Microsoft at remaining relevant in the hardware market. But it was never going to pan out: Lumia devices—nice though they were—weren’t selling well and Microsoft’s mobile platform had minuscule market share.

That this has happened is terrible for those involved.