Nokia’s handset business Nokia Oyj is to be renamed Microsoft Mobile when Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition is completed on Friday, according to reports.
The name change was announced by blogger Nokiapoweruser, who leaked a Nokia supplier document on Saturday (April 19).
“Upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT IDs and for the issuance of invoices,” read part of the letter. Nokia Corporation NYSE share price fell 1.81% by midday Wednesday ET at $7.34. Microsoft shares were ticking over at a steady $39.50 at the same time, down from a pre-market $39.99.
The acquisition, announced in September last year and approved by shareholders in November, has since been amended. Microsoft will not acquire Nokia’s Korean manufacturing facility, as was previously announced, while 21 Chinese Nokia employees will now move to the Redmond, Washington-based giant. In addition, Microsoft will assume control of Nokia.com, and all of the Finnish firm’s social media channels.
“This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones,” wrote Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith in a statement. Nokia’s Lumia smartphone already runs Microsoft’s Windows mobile operating system.
Nokia dominated the mobile handset industry throughout the 1990s, but has struggled to keep the pace set by rivals Apple and Samsung, whose smartphones have dominated the market in recent years. Microsoft will hope that its Windows Phone platform can build on a market share that has stagnated at just 4% this year. Its 8.1 upgrade now features Cortana, Microsoft’s AI assistant competition to Apple’s Siri.
Last year Nokia sold 250 million units according to Gartner, a research group. That represents a 13.9% market share, second behind Samsung (444.4 million; 24.6%) but ahead of Apple (150.8 million; 8.3%).
There are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, which represents around 96% of the world population, according to mobiThinking, an analyst. The largest market is China, with a reported 1.246 billion subscribers, followed by India (893 million) and the U.S. (345 million). Mobile phone shipments were recorded at 1.807 billion in 2013, with a projected 1.895 billion this year, and 1.952 billion in 2015.