Nokia’s new reality
Today Nokia is expected to unveil a virtual-reality headset, the latest move in its corporate comeback. The Finnish company, once the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, fell behind in the smartphone era; last year it sold its ailing handset-division for $7.2 billion to Microsoft, which last week wrote off the acquisition.
But Nokia is fighting back. Its boss, Rajeev Suri, is bulking up its network-equipment business by merging it with Alcatel-Lucent; European regulators blessed the €15.6 billion ($17.3 billion) deal on Friday. Nokia is also selling its maps unit, Here, to a trio of German carmakers. But Nokia hasn’t forsaken consumer markets. In January it launched the N1, a sleek Android tablet, in China. Next year it plans to re-enter the handset business, designing phones but outsourcing manufacturing—a model borrowed from Apple. That will be the biggest test of the remaining strength of Nokia’s once-mighty brand.
Originally published on The Economist Espresso.