Nokia Set to Cut Thousands of R&D Jobs: Report

By Beecher Tuttle April 12, 2011

Mobile phone maker Nokia may cut as many as 6,000 jobs in the coming months as it prepares for its upcoming alliance with Microsoft, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Antti Rinne of Pro, Finland's largest union for private sector office workers, told the news source that Nokia will announce a major reduction in research and development initiatives by the end of April. If the Finnish company does in fact cut 6,000 jobs, Nokia's R&D workforce will be reduced by almost 40 percent.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop alluded to the potential layoffs back in February when he announced that the cell phone giant would be partnering with Microsoft on the majority of its forthcoming handsets. By embracing Windows Phone 7 as its new operating system, Nokia has no real need to continue to develop and invest in its own homegrown software platforms, Symbian and MeeGo.

Elop said at the time that there will be "substantial reductions in employment in various locations around the world, and that too will affect Finland.” All Things Digital says that Nokia currently has an R&D budget that is nearly three times that of its closest competitors and five times that of Apple.

“The reductions are likely to come gradually, over the next 12 months because they have some further development in the pipeline for Symbian,” Michael Schroeder, an analyst at FIM Bank in Helsinki, told Bloomberg. “The expectation is that after the transition period they would have cut a third of their device R&D spending compared to what it was in 2010."

While Nokia is planning on cutting jobs in Finland, chip maker Intel will be helping to create openings. A spokeswoman for the semiconductor giant told Reuters that the company is planning on opening an R&D facility in the near future. While the site has yet to be opened, Intel has already started hiring software and hardware engineers. As many as 200 new employees could be brought on in the first wave of hiring.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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