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Businesses Cellphones Handhelds Apple

The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia 286

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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  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:39AM (#41595711)

    The back of their phones is made out of glass, I repeat, the back of their phones is made out of glass.

  • 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.

  • Not so fast (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:52AM (#41595857)

    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 could block new deals sure, but that wouldn't help at all with the current competition.

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

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


    Maps is a disaster. But what about the other iOS6 problems (some here []). 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 bonehead ( 6382 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:21AM (#41596175)

    since hardly anyone goes caseless.

    How do you figure that? I very rarely see phones of any type in cases.

  • 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.


  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:44PM (#41597819) Homepage Journal
    Putting a case on an iPhone also reverses any gains Apple has made in keeping the phone thin. If you're willing to pay a premium for a phone that is 1.7mm thinner, it doesn't seem to make sense to toss a 3mm thick cover on it.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:39PM (#41603677)

    Yeah, it's a tool - but it's a broken tool when it hits tile or concrete. Practically the whole first floor of my home is tile, and it eats smartphone screens (2 so far). Hardwood or carpet aren't so bad... I don't even blink when I drop a phone at work on the carpet.

    I've yet to lose a screen since using the cheap rubbery-ish silicony case. It does nothing for scratches, since all sorts of odd grit gets in between the case and the phone and rubs. And of course, it doesn't protect the face of the screen. My wife has one of those Otter cases, but she works in a hospital and needs to sanitize it.

    I think if you pay attention, you'll see lots of cases - especially the kind that clip on to a belt holster. Women all seem to have them - I think purses must be something like garbage disposals.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter