For the past few years Nokia lost market share in the high-end segment but its feature phones held their end. These devices usually cost under $100 and were particularly popular in emerging markets. Nokia was popular in those markets due to its feature phones and even though a couple of product lines survived after the company’s devices and services business was sold to Microsoft, this is the end of the line for Nokia’s feature phones. An internal Microsoft memo all but confirms that the company will no longer divert resources and talent toward these products.
The memo came from Jo Harlow who leads the phone business under Microsoft devices. It reads that the devices division will focus solely on the development of Windows Phone while shifting development and investment for Series 40, Asha and Nokia X devices in “maintenance mode.” Over the next 18 months Microsoft will shut down services that support existing low-end Nokia devices.
That’s not all. Microsoft is also looking to get rid of Nokia MixRadio. The memo claims that there has been strong interest from third parties and a sale might be possible but until that happens MixRadio is in maintenance mode as well.
This change in direction means that Microsoft wants to offer Windows to all segments of the market, even though the likes of Asha and Series 40 never really cut into its target market. But to drive success in the short term Harlow says the company will focus on a high-end go-to-market strategy and promises to announce other high-end products “very soon.”
Microsoft has shaken up quite a lot of things today which are mostly due to the fact that it’s laying off over 18,000 employees. As a result of these layoffs the Xbox Entertainment Studios will also be shut down, XES was responsible for original TV shows meant for the Xbox.
Redmond may have completed the acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business a few months back but from today onwards Nokia as we knew it will cease to exist.