Officials and employees of Nokia are not taking the $7.2-billion sale of the Finnish phone company sitting down. A former official formed Newkia a day after the announced acquisition by Microsoft of the once number one mobile phone manufacturer.
Thomas Zilliacus, former Asia-Pacific CEO of Nokia, disclosed plans to hire Nokia employees and continue the production of mobile phones that would use the Android platform. He attributed the reduction of Nokia from number one to a small phone firm to failure of the Finnish firm under the leadership of CEO Stephen Elop to shift to the popular OS which has even trounced the iOS in terms of selling mobile phones and tablets.
Mr Zilliacus, now the executive chairman and founder of Mobile FutureWorks, pointed out that the selling price of $7.2 billion is just 2 per cent of Nokia's market capitalization a decade ago.
He left Nokia in 1993 but stayed on as regional consultant until 1996. Mr Zilliacus disclosed that he attempted to buy Nokia in 2012 with the aim of shifting its OS to Android, but failed to raise enough money even if he talked to several global sovereign wealth and equity funds.
For Mr Zilliacus, Nokia is still the best phone manufacturer in the world, citing the popularity of the Lumia line as proof. He believes Android OS and not Windows OS is the better option for phone makers.
Nokia stopped using Linux and Symbian in 2011 in favour of Windows Phone.
"Consumers simply don't want the Windows OS because it lacks the ecosystem and there are not enough apps and services built for the platform that users find crucial today ... There's also a general image problem where Microsoft isn't perceived as a sexy company. Developers think it's cooler to develop for Android and Apple iOS," ZDNET quoted the Newkia boss.
Newkia will be based in Singapore, but its core research and development group would be based out of Finland, probably in locations with strong technical know-how such as Silicon Valley. His aim is to release the first Newkia mobile device within the next 12 months.
With the buy-in, Mr Elop will be the head of the devices division of Microsoft that has been reorganised and expanded. Former Nokia officials will join him in the move to Microsoft. Jo Harlow will head Smart Devices, Timo Toikkanen will lead the Mobile Phones division and Stefan Pannenbecker will head the design team.