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The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia 286

Posted by timothy
from the finland-finland-finland dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Nokia has seen better days. The Finnish phone maker continues to struggle to gain traction in a marketplace dominated by Apple and Android, and its new flagship device, the Windows-powered Lumia 920, failed to impress investors when it was announced last month, subsequently causing the company's stock to dive. Now Tristan Louis argues that there are four good reasons Apple should dig into its deep pockets and buy Nokia. First Nokia has really powerful mapping technology. Apple Maps isn't very good, and Apple has been feeling the heat from a critical tech press but Nokia has been doing maps 'for a long time now, and they a have access to even more data than Google.' Next, Nokia has a treasure chest of patents and as Apple's recent smackdown of Samsung proves, the future of the mobile space 'will be dictated by the availability and ownership of patents.' Nokia's exhaustive portfolio of patents might be worth as much as $6 billion to $10 billion, a drop in the bucket from Apple's $100 billion war chest. Nokia could also help with TV. If Apple truly wants to dominate the TV arena, it'll have to beam shows and movies to iPhones or iPads in real time, and that's a field Nokia has some expertise in. Finally Microsoft has a lot riding on the release of Windows Phone 8, and Nokia is its primary launch partner. Buying Nokia would 'knock Microsoft on its heels,' says Forbes' Upbin."
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The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia

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  • NOOOOOO (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:26AM (#41595545)

    Besides, isn't Nokia Microsoft's bitch?

    • Re:NOOOOOO (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gr8_phk (621180) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:32AM (#41595623)
      Yep, the author doesn't investigate what agreements are in place between Nokia and MS. That could make an Apple purchase a poor choice (or not). This looks like some dude saw last weeks article about Nokias mapping efforts and decided he thinks Apple should buy them. Unfortunately he's got an audience.
      • Re:NOOOOOO (Score:5, Insightful)

        by david.emery (127135) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:40AM (#41595727)

        Mod parent up insightful. This is a real concern and has both benefits and risks. Look at how Google is doing with Motorola, they've bought both the patents and the associated lawsuits.

      • Re:NOOOOOO (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bondsbw (888959) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:43AM (#41595771)

        If anyone is going to buy Nokia, it makes sense for Microsoft to do so. It could become Microsoft's chief mobile hardware partner, and perhaps could offer something in the Xbox arena. The result would be a partnership similar to Google and Motorola.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Given the fact that Microsoft want to make their own tablet hardware, it makes sense they might want their own mobile hardware as well.

        • Re:NOOOOOO (Score:5, Insightful)

          by korgitser (1809018) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:12AM (#41596045)

          They already have made Nokia their bitch, and that only cost them one incompetent manager.
          Remember Elop, the Troyan Horse running Nokia? He is handling all the good pieces to Microsoft on a silver plate for free, while scrapping everything not relevant to the Brave New Windows Smartphone Future(TM). Like Nokia's immensely profitable presence in the third world - Nokias featurephones were doing the smartphone revolution everywhere but the West. They had a headstart and were pretty much guaranteed to sell billions, until Elop came around and said 'does not run Windows, scrap it'.
          So, they already have what they want, and are already scuttling the rest, so why would they want to waste more money on it?

        • Re:NOOOOOO (Score:5, Insightful)

          by samkass (174571) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:31AM (#41596311) Homepage Journal

          If anyone is going to buy Nokia, it makes sense for Microsoft to do so. It could become Microsoft's chief mobile hardware partner, and perhaps could offer something in the Xbox arena. The result would be a partnership similar to Google and Motorola.

          Yeah, but Nokia's a publicly traded company. They're valued at about $10B... pocket change for Apple. And they have the best mapping data in the world... Apple has arguably lost more than $10B in valuation for not having such data.

          Apple could buy Nokia, keep the mapping and patents, divest the mobile manufacturing to Microsoft and come out way ahead.

    • Re:NOOOOOO (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrDoh! (71235) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:51AM (#41595841) Homepage Journal
      Totally. It's only a matter of time before the remnants of Nokia become a Microsoft Department, with the transfer of patents that was the only thing MS wanted from the start. Would make a lot of sense for Apple to grab them, but there's just no way it'll happen with Elop prepping, and if Apple did eventually buy it, it'd be a husk of a company with the patents/IP already long gone. Now, a partnership/agreement to cross license for 3 years perhaps, finally wipe out Android through sustained heavy lawsuit fire? That'd make sense. But Apple has learned too well, and after finishing off Android, will be waiting for the knife in the back from Microsoft. No, it can't work, it's too messed up, and apart from the IP, there's not a lot worth buying.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I strongly suspect the EU would balk at such a purchase as anti-competitive as well.

    • by Nexus7 (2919)

      I dunno if bitch is the right term, but that arrangement tells us that the brilliant idea that the Forbes writer got - MS got there, oh, about 2 years ago.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:30AM (#41595587) Homepage Journal

    Apple: it must look good, work out of the box, and be very simple so that even a hipster in skinny jeans and Ray-Bans can do it.

    Nokia: it must be solid as a rock, work for 10,000 years, and the interface must exist. If it is convenient, that is a bonus, but not important.

    These companies are opposites. Merging them together will just get us stylized Nokias that lack the legendary bulletproof Nokia quality.

    • by Vintermann (400722) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:38AM (#41595679) Homepage

      I wonder why Nokia, of all companies, got this reputation for solidity. Most of their phones were not very solid.

      There is consumer legislation in Norway that electronic devices "of a long-term nature" should function for at least five years. Nokia fought this tooth and claw, and insisted it was completely unreasonable for mobile phones.

      Granted, many (not all) of the pre-touch phones were a lot more robust than most touch phones. And very many of the previous generation were in fact Nokias.

      • by Tridus (79566)

        Because the Nokia phones that most North Americans have had exposure to are from many years ago back when Nokia was popular here. LIke, *many* years ago.

        I had an old Nokia 6160 more then a decade ago, and the thing was virtually indestructible.

        • by bonehead (6382)

          many years ago back when Nokia was popular here. LIke, *many* years ago.

          Yep. Nokia's reign as king in the US died out right along with TDMA, more or less.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:41AM (#41595733)

      Nokia: it must be solid as a rock, work for 10,000 years, and the interface must exist. If it is convenient, that is a bonus, but not important.

      This was the old way; you are now out of date. Nokia has sold all of it's old factories (e.g Salo) where quality ruled. It is no longer using the Finnish design guys who were insisting on Scandinavian quality. It's now designed in the US and built in China by Foxconn (and that's the top end phones).

      There is remarkably little of Nokia which is worth salvaging. You might sell off their Telecomms division to a big IT company. Apple would then get the mapping and the patents. The low end phones are still high quality and would go off well to Tata or some equivalent. After that there's nothing left. This wouldn't be a "merger"; much more a purchase followed by a total break up. A case like that is going to have no influence whatsoever on Apple's internal culture.

      • Apple has been making huge money in the other end of the market, high-end smartphones. That is a much higher margin business and still growing. Nokia has been losing market share, to Samsung among others. Also, as others have noted, they are deep in bed with Microsoft already, so that is another reason for Apple to pass.

      • by fozzy1015 (264592)

        Nokia: it must be solid as a rock, work for 10,000 years, and the interface must exist. If it is convenient, that is a bonus, but not important.

        This was the old way; you are now out of date. Nokia has sold all of it's old factories (e.g Salo) where quality ruled. It is no longer using the Finnish design guys who were insisting on Scandinavian quality. It's now designed in the US and built in China by Foxconn (and that's the top end phones).

        You obviously never spent time with a recent Lumia. The 800 and 900 phones have the sturdiest build quality of any recent smart phone, including the iPhone.

        http://www.knowyourmobile.com/blog/1385835/video_shows_nokia_lumia_900_will_survive_pretty_much_anything.html

    • Nokia: it must be solid as a rock, work for 10,000 years, and the interface must exist. If it is convenient, that is a bonus, but not important.

      Maybe you are talking about their hardware from WAY back when. Nokia's software absolutely sucks. It's not solid, barely interfaces with anything, it is not well designed and certainly isn't convenient to use. I used Nokia phones for about 10 years before finally getting fed up. The hardware was ok, not great (and not rock solid) but acceptable at the time. Their software was horrendous.

      • by jandrese (485)
        I think the phrase "the interface must exist" flew over your head a bit there. That's certainly no pronouncement of quality, more like "There must be some way, no matter how arcane, to place a call this device." That's somewhat unfair though, because Nokias had number pads so dialing a number was always easy, it was everything else in the interface (address book, settings, SMS, or heaven forbid the "browser") that was an unintuitive mess.
  • by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:30AM (#41595599)
    I foresee trouble in that area.
  • Pretty big drop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 (1232050) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:32AM (#41595621)
    I know I am being picayune, but 10% is not a drop in the bucket. Not even in the colloquial sense. Unless it is a teeny tiny bucket that only holds 10 drops.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:33AM (#41595627)

    Not in the US, and especially not in the EU.

    Too many anti-trust issues.

    • Given Apple's recent history on the use and abuse of patents, I'd be against this, but I have to ask: from a legal and anti-trust point of view, what is the difference between Apple swallowing Nokia, and Google swallowing Motorola? I don't think the regulators really go on the basis of "Well, Google gives us free shit and only sues companies that sue it and its partners, while Apple's got that whole "We must kill Android whatever the cost" stuff going on"

      • by nickovs (115935)

        The test that the competition regulators apply is "Will this reduce competition and consumer choice?" When Google bought Motorola Motorola was already a maker of Android phones and the immediate effect on the market was small. If Apple bought Nokia it would almost certainly want to kill Nokia's Windows phones, which would largely kill Windows Mobile, which would significantly reduce choice. There is no way that the EU would allow this and it seems unlikely that the US would allow it either (although that wo

        • Motorola made a variety of phones prior to the Google take-over. It didn't just make Android phones. I would assume a "consumer choice" issue wouldn't care about phones that a take-over target makes that are likely to continue being made, so much as devices and categories of device that a take-over target makes that are likely to be discontinued.

          In addition to many home grown operating systems, Motorola was a maker of Windows Mobile [google.com] phones, and was talked up as a WP7 OEM until the Google takeover. So if

      • by niado (1650369)
        It's probably more complicated than this, but Google and Motorola were not really in the same business. Google makes Android, but they don't really make hardware. Motorola Mobility was primarily a hardware company, so Google essentially added a component to their supply chain with the purchase.

        Apple and Nokia (through their partnership with Microsoft) are direct competitors in the end-to-end smartphone market, in which there are only a few players.
      • by s73v3r (963317)

        You're going to have to prove that they've "abused" patents any more so than any other company out there. Remember, they had their asses handed to them on patent lawsuits from Creative, Kodak, and Nokia. And they're still being sued by Motorola.

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        Apple and Nokia are direct competitors. Google and Motorola had a supplier/buyer relationship. That's the difference.

        A supplier merging with their long term partner is integration. A company swallowing one of its biggest rivals is an anti-trust issue.

  • by guises (2423402) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:33AM (#41595631)
    Nokia's patents may be purchasable, but buying the entire company would be a huge investment for Apple, one which would provide hardly any value outside of the patent portfolio - Nokia's products, philosophy, almost everything are completely orthogonal to Apple's. This is a terrible idea.
    • I dunno. Moving Apple in another direction resonates well with me.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I think the biggest problem would be integrating the Nokia, a 140 year old company, into Apple. Running it an independent subsidiary would mean pushing unlimited amounts of cash into it to keep it afloat since it would no longer the selling phones and would unlikely liscense products to compete with Apple.

      If Apple wants Nokia patents, then it can well wait for them. On the NYSE the stock is worth about what is was listed for twenty years ago. There may an auction soon and maybe the assets can be had fo

      • by guises (2423402)
        I could see Apple purchasing just the patents from Nokia, with an agreement to license them back. That would give Nokia a ton of money so they could stay afloat a little longer while at the same time giving Apple the opportunity to get the patents for certain rather than bidding for them against other companies at a bankruptcy auction.

        The maps thing is trivial next to the other issues. Just a little bad PR.
  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:34AM (#41595643)
    Microsoft is *already* on it's heels. Apple is worth far more than Microsoft and appears to have a better strategy going forward. Taking any opportunity to knock Microsoft down makes no business sense and distracts from their mission.
    • by artemis67 (93453)

      Agreed...Apple has absolutely nothing to fear from Microsoft. Microsoft is destroying themselves from the inside. For Apple to buy Nokia, that might cause Microsoft to wake the fuck up and start building their own phones, like Apple does.

      If Apple really wants to see Microsoft fail, the best option is to let them continue down the path they are currently on.

    • by Alkonaut (604183) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:09AM (#41596013)
      I'd rather have microsofts revenue than apples, even if apples is larger. Reason? Apples revenue comes from consumer electronics. That can change overnight if Apple just blows it once with a new release. Microsoft has a huge corporate revenue stream as well as a lot more lock-in from software. To put it another way: microsoft can release vista fiv times over without losing much revenue to e.g. Mac OS. If the iPhone6 is crap and samsung's offering is brilliant then Apple is in trouble. Apple have to deliver continuously, MS not so much.
      • I'd rather have revenue that comes from hardware than software. Software is sort of like a bubble because once free alternatives crop up that are of sufficient quality, the bubble pops. In the long term Microsoft has to change their business strategy because they won't be able to maintain that Office lock-in forever. And once they lose the Office lock-in (which LibreOffice and Google Docs are already working on doing), they put Windows in vulnerable situation to lose its lock-in to a Linux variant.

        There was

        • by mpeskett (1221084)

          Software has a $0 replication and distribution cost, thus driving the price to $0 dollars. Hardware will never have this issue.

          Following that line of economic thought, all prices are driven towards marginal cost. You don't make any more money selling $100 hardware units at $100 each than you do selling $0 copies of software at $0 each.

          • by toriver (11308)

            all prices are driven towards marginal cost

            Yes, that is the promise of the theoretical construct called the "free market".

          • by Patch86 (1465427)

            Hardware will always have a cost, whereas software doesn't necessarily.

            If hardware costs $100, and you're willing to pay $100, then it is also probable that you'll be willing to part with $101 (and the company will make a profit).

            If software costs $0, and you're only willing to pay $0, it's very difficult to convince you to even pay $1.

      • by tgd (2822)

        I'd rather have microsofts revenue than apples, even if apples is larger. Reason? Apples revenue comes from consumer electronics. That can change overnight if Apple just blows it once with a new release. Microsoft has a huge corporate revenue stream as well as a lot more lock-in from software. To put it another way: microsoft can release vista fiv times over without losing much revenue to e.g. Mac OS. If the iPhone6 is crap and samsung's offering is brilliant then Apple is in trouble. Apple have to deliver continuously, MS not so much.

        Worse, Apple's value is entirely coupled to the close association of a narrow set of consumer hardware to a walled garden set of media. Loss of market in either will start to very quickly erode the other because they, effectively, have all their eggs in one big basket. Microsoft has several *thousand* products. (Half of which, I'd hazard a guess, virtually no one outside of a fairly narrow space has ever even heard of.)

        As someone with a fairly large investment in both companies, I think you're absolutely ri

        • by shugah (881805)
          You are dead on target here.

          The last time Apple collapsed, it was because they were arrogant and hostile towards third party application developers and sought to control every aspect of the software channel. Steve Jobs, the genius who push Apple to its dominant position in the early 80's also, as the control freak he was, laid the foundation for the collapse. They also sought to squash third party peripherals providers by tightly controlling the hardware interfaces and BIOS. You could not expand the R
      • I'd rather have microsofts revenue than apples, even if apples is larger. Reason? Apples revenue comes from consumer electronics.

        That's misleading though, since Apple's revenue comes from electronics in multiple distinct fields:

        1) mobile connected devices (iPhone)

        1.5) tablets/iPad

        2) Laptops

        3) Desktops

        4) iPod class devices (iPod, iPod Touch)

        5) AppleTV (weak by growing).

        I grouped them that way because even if one of those areas suffered a severe blow to sales, the other aspects would remain untouched without

        • Not really. Apple's portfolio begins with an little 'i'. Microsoft, as tgd points out, has a much broader base.

          Apple sells to consumers. Consumers have this herd like behavior that allows them to rapidly change directions quickly. In fact, Apple is much more vulnerable than Sony because, like Microsoft, Sony has huge monetary stakes in things you've likely not even heard of (CMOS imager fabs, medical stuff - Sony is huge).

          Apple is just a couple of PC clones and a phone and a tablet. Hey, they're doing

          • Not really. Apple's portfolio begins with an little 'i'

            That is only two of the categories I listed, and to a small degree the desktop space.

            Apple sells to consumers. Consumers have this herd like behavior that allows them to rapidly change directions quickly.

            What do you base this on? Consumers have shown that over time if anything they prefer to stick to brands they like, and that such consumers are very hard for other brands to win over. It usually takes major failures on the part of a company to drive

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:38AM (#41595693) Journal
    This isn't news, this is Bruce Upbin, Forbes Staff "reporting" on some random article by another journalist named Tristan Louis who lists his credentials as:

    Tristan Louis is an Internet veteran, having worked in the Internet industry since 1993. Throughout the years, Mr. Louis has been known as the founder of Internet.com, a co-founder of Earthweb's developer.com, the interim CTO for Boo.com, and has held many other roles at start-ups during the first dotcom boom.

    And this guy is commenting on why Apple should buy Nokia? Really? That's "news" to us? It's basically a list of half baked points. I know how this works, I've seen it in my uncle. He used to play sports in high school and when we watch a Vikings game he is just exasperated at how terrible the coaches are. Why, if he was in that game, he'd know exactly what plays to call and he could probably even be the quarterback and throw this football clear over them mountains.

    The piece fails to explain why Apple shouldn't merely license Nokia's map services instead of kicking $10 billion out for it (oh, by the way, 10% of your total liquid assets is not a "drop in the bucket"). It fails to analyze many of the other assets of Nokia (oh, come on, like Apple would continue making Nokia's candy bar phones) and just assumes Apple would like to pay for all that stuff. It doesn't consider all the EU approvals that Apple would need and he ends this list with Apple doing "a double-reverse with a flip" which sounds a lot like the plays my uncle would call in a professional football game.

    In short, build your own $100 billion dollar empire and then you can throw it away yourself. Until then, I don't think this shallow "analysis" of two phone makers was ever worth my time. It could at least be comprehensive and delve into the financials of the deal and possible repercussions (like yet another little guy dying and the market becoming more inbred with less options).

    • by Bozdune (68800)

      I'm with your uncle. F'in Vikings can't call plays, and I get all my news from Forbes. Excuse me while I churn the butter.

    • by bondsbw (888959)

      Is this [al.com] your uncle?

    • by Revotron (1115029) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:17AM (#41596115)

      Tristan Louis is an Internet veteran, having worked in the Internet industry since 1993. Throughout the years, Mr. Louis has been known as the founder of Internet.com, a co-founder of Earthweb's developer.com, the interim CTO for Boo.com, and has held many other roles at start-ups during the first dotcom boom.

      But, he's an Internet veteran! He's set up over five and a half websites! They don't just let every Tom, Dick, and Harry set up a website these days.

      Question. Does his laundry list of titles include "Social Media Entrepreneur"? Because then we'll know he's the real deal.

  • No one has yet mentioned one other important thing if Apple bought Nokia. Nokia is Microsoft's flagship handset manufacturer for it's Winphones. If Apple did nothing more than announce they were considering buying Nokia, that would generate a tremendous amount of FUD that could decimate Microsoft's mobile plans.

  • Lately, we have been seeing a LOT of attention on the problem of patents. Not just software patents, but patents in general. If Apple bought Nokia now, they will either have to exploit those patents now or face losing all of their value.

    When I start hearing lay people discuss the problems of patents, (and I have heard this recently) I know it's not just geek interest any longer. Now it's getting in the way of their next gadget purchase and they are taking notice.

  • by glassKarma (1215468) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:48AM (#41595817)
    In short, Apple doesn't need Nokia. Nokia has reinvented itself many times since it made shoes and tires, and it's WELL OVERDUE to do that again. The problem is cell phones are effectively all it does, and it's tragically lacking innovation there (FWIW, I worked for Nokia, and made detailed suggestions over ten years ago about more storage, touch screens, and more battery life, and there was repeated immediate dismissal over how impossible it would be). The sad part is Nokia went to Microsoft rather than it's dedicated developers to find that innovation. Microsoft will even help kill Nokia partly because Nokia doesn't seem to know what to do, and mostly because they forgot Balmer doesn't care about Nokia any more than it can work as a stepping stone for Microsoft to "get back on top." Yes, buying Nokia would give Microsoft one less out for Windows, but sadly for Nokia (and to be fair, IMNSHO) Microsoft's overwhelming priority is to do its own work for Windows 8 after getting Nokia to abandoning [small] teams of [highly] devoted Symbian developers as part of the fallout in committing to The Balmer; proof.
  • Fantasyland (Score:4, Interesting)

    by puddingebola (2036796) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:52AM (#41595851) Journal
    I think I agree with the commentor on the Forbes site who put this squarely in the realm of fantasyland. Microsoft has already given Nokia $2 billion and Elop seems committed to Microsoft's camp. Aren't there other Maps providers on the internet that Apple could potentially partner with? Mapquest? Somebody?
  • Not so fast (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nokia's exhaustive portfolio of patents might be worth as much as $6 billion to $10 billion, a drop in the bucket from Apple's $100 billion war chest.

    However, Nokia the company would cost significantly more, perhaps more than Apple would be willing to spend. Currently their assets+equity comes in at about $48 billion and they have an annual revenue of $38 billion. Nokia wouldn't sell their patent portfolio as it'd leave them crippled.

    Finally Microsoft has a lot riding on the release of Windows Phone 8, and Nokia is its primary launch partner. Buying Nokia would 'knock Microsoft on its heels,'

    If Apple bought Nokia, then Nokia the legal entity would still exist. All their existing contracts would still be valid. So they'd be contractually be obliged to continue with the Windows 8 launch. Further in the future you

  • Nokia is a sinking ship; they can't do things well when handed them on a silver platter (look at all that Qt phone stuff; absolutely beautiful, but they did nothing with their alliance with Intel, letting Intel do all the dev work on MeeGo et al). Why would Apple want to buy Nokia except to gut it and use it as a manufacturing arm and discard everything else save Navteq? Is Navteq really worth burning pretty much ALL of their money to buy? IIRC, Samsung produces some of the iPhone's parts and Foxcon is o
  • Never get past EU regulators.

  • Fix Maps, only? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:18AM (#41596127)

    why-apple-should-buy-nokia-to-fix-their-mapping-disaster

    Maps is a disaster. But what about the other iOS6 problems (some here [macworld.com]). What about the recent Apple lack of innovation, and the reported lack of staff motivation? As a owner of 2 Macs, 2 iPhones and an iPad, I'm just worrying. During the past year, new devices are mere incremental updates, and nothing revolutionary came from the software dept (OSes and applications). And the general update trend slowed down, compared to 2 years ago. This appears to me as a management problem.
    To be fair, Tim Cook has to be vigilant - Apple sells a lot thanks to the nice and innovative ergonomics and design inertia coming from the iPhone 3~4 era. Taking a different direction would definitely mark that new era as the real beginning of the Cook epoch - and at the same time end the Jobs one forever. And who knows what would be the outcome of that.
    In my opinion, Tim Cook will keep sticking to the Jobs background for a while - maybe 2 years - while Apple staff will feel more and more the gap between what image Cook wants to show to the world (ie Jobs-like) and the day-to-day internal management. Updates slowness, substantial mistakes and bugs will increase over time, while disheartened (and good) people will leave the company. It will be a hard time for Cook, having to choose between working (hard) to maintain that fading image from the past, or cope with a dramatically different management requirement.

    • by medcalf (68293)
      Are you sure you're not just concern trolling? I mean, Apple's maps are not perfect, but neither were Google's. I find the new maps faster than and about as accurate as Google's, though they do have fewer place locations. (I suspect that last will change rapidly now that people are using the product.) But I can at least see the argument that maps need improvement on iOS. I can even see an argument that Apple doesn't focus enough on products like iWork once they're out, such that they fall behind over time,
    • Re:Fix Maps, only? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swb (14022) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:56AM (#41596569)

      How much innovation do you want on a per-release basis? I think they did a lot -- newer, larger screen, thinner design, completely new interface port (with zero adapters available until some started shipping YESTERDAY), completely new mapping system.

      That's a lot of "innovation" even if it doesn't necessarily translate into new, glitzy things you want or substantial, obvious changes. An MMC slot would have been nice, but Apple really doesn't/hasn't supported external storage as a matter of policy/design philosophy. It's purposeful, not because they don't know how.

      And they have to balance substantial changes against consumer desire -- if the 4/4S was very popular, it's a reach to assume that Apple could sell a radically different physical device or one with some other radical change.

      IMHO, smartphones generally are kind of running out of obvious, low-hanging fruit without some substantial leaps technology and functionality wise. The thing I'm waiting for is a wireless (NOT 802.11) display protocol that enables touch functionality on a larger, external display.

    • Re:Fix Maps, only? (Score:4, Informative)

      by wzinc (612701) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:05AM (#41596693)
      Apple's maps are great; there is no disaster. It's all media hype, b/c some neighborhood names in San Francisco were not the most popular names. I just took a 1,500 mile trip, and Apple's maps were incredible. "Siri, find me directions to X." Done.
      • Re:Fix Maps, only? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BlueStraggler (765543) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:11PM (#41597481)

        Oh dear, Slashdot, look what you've done. You moderated the only nice comment in the entire thread as "Troll". Hundreds and hundreds of comments talking about mapping "disasters", fucking over Microsoft, patent trolling, ass-fucking Google, the unspeakable incompetence of Tim Cook, the creepy toadyism of Elop, and other bits of nasty, bitter, unfocused nerd rage.

        And then some guy comes along and says "you know, those apple maps are pretty good, if you, like, actually use them", which may be the only bit of actual first-hand knowledge offered in the entire thread.

        TROLL! TROLL! BURN HIM!

        • by _xeno_ (155264)

          And then some guy comes along and says "you know, those apple maps are pretty good, if you, like, actually use them", which may be the only bit of actual first-hand knowledge offered in the entire thread.

          The plural of "anecdote" isn't "data." So one guy got lucky with Apple Maps, good for him. There have been a ton of stories - with examples - demonstrating just how large a disaster Apple Maps have been.

          You're going to have to do a hell of a lot better than "[i]t's all media hype, b/c some neighborhood names in San Francisco were not the most popular names" to demonstrate that Apple Maps are anything other than a disaster.

          There are stories of towns entirely missing off the maps, streets that don't exist bei

      • by toriver (11308)

        Yeah, Apple's maps are accurate here in Oslo, Norway, too. For instance, in my neighborhood they have a new roundabout that Google hasn't put in yet.

  • These "insights" keep popping up every few months. A little while ago, everybody was telling Apple and MS to buy RIM. Following the herd is for sheep
  • by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:27AM (#41596265)

    1)Microsoft would almost without question fight any buyout offer for Nokia by Apple tooth and nail and Microsoft has a war chest big enough to buy Nokia themselves. There is no way Apple would be able to buy the company for a reasonable price. Microsoft needs Nokia worse than Apple does right now.

    2)Nokia has committed to the Microsoft platform and changing direction at this point would be tremendously costly. In fact it would probably kill the Nokia to try at this point.

    3)Nokia does a lot of business with low margin products that are definitely not in Apple's wheelhouse. Apple already makes most of the profit in the cell phone industry. They would have to take on a lot of products in markets that they don't know well that make essentially no profit if they bought Nokia.

    4)There would be huge company culture issues. Apple has a very unique company culture and a big acquisition would bring a lot of problems.

    5) If Nokia goes under, Apple can probably buy assets it needs without the extra baggage of the rest of a troubled company

    6)Apple's problems with their Maps is a fixable problem without involving Nokia. Yeah, they dropped the ball but they have the resources to make it work so long as they don't screw a lot of other things up at the same time.

  • by AdamInParadise (257888) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:33AM (#41596345) Homepage

    Let's say Apple buy Nokia for those reasons (Maps, patents and Fuck Microsoft). Apple now has to fire 95% of the company (they only keep the IP lawyers and the mapheads). Nokia has 122,000 employees, many of them in Europe were they cannot be fired easily. That's 116,000 pink slips. A $100000 redundancy payment per person seems about right ("Apple is loaded"). That's about $12 billions. Combine that with Nokia's market cap (about $10bn) and the price rises to $22bn. I guess Apple could technically afford it, but the damage to their image could cost them even more.

  • I can't believe I'm seeing a piece on slashdot that's seriously saying that thinning out the marketplace is a good thing.
  • The stock didn't "dive" after the 920 announcement (Sept 5th) and it didn't go down because of any disappointment. If that was the case, explain the bullish stock run from the 7th to the 16th. If investors were so disappointment with the announcement, why would people be buying the stock?

    Most tech stock exhibit a similar pattern right after a product announcement. One of the sayings in the stock market today is "Buy the Rumor, Sell the News". Rumors and expectations create buzz that influences stock pri

  • The day a company starts to innovate thru buying other corporations instead of creating stuff itself is the day it starts to die.
  • by mrex (25183) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:48AM (#41597145)

    What a crappy post. Nokia would be an extremely poor fit for Apple culturally, technologically, logistically, and managerially. Chalk me up with the other posters who suspect the author of wanting to cash out their Nokia stock.

  • a) Apple wouldn't do this b) Microsoft wouldn't allow Apple to do this While Apple is a "larger" company (per the equities market) Microsoft still has tons and tons and tons...and TONS of cash laying around. Microsoft would never allow Apple to do this...and Apple and Microsoft are in cahoots in some ways, so it's not like Apple really wants to antagonize Microsoft at this point. It's clear they both have a shared goal of taking out Google.
  • I think it would be far cheaper and more effective for Apple to "contract" their map data (and services?) from Nokia than to buy Nokia outright. I could see Nokia liking such a "buy" for the cash-flow it would bring them while they try to figure out how to survive the lambasting they've been getting for their Windows 8 phone series.

    I'm sure Apple would like to acquire Nokia's patents, but buying the whole company to get them when they could lease the map data would be crazy, not to mention it would be r

  • Great idea! Apple could use those Nokia Hakapelitta snow tires as shockproof cases for iPhones.

    Power iUsers could stick studded Hakapelitta cases down their pockets.

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