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The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the finland-finland-finland dept.

Businesses 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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NOOOOOO (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595545)

Besides, isn't Nokia Microsoft's bitch?

Re:NOOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595619)

Well, without reading the article, we definitely know that:

and they a href="http://www.cultofmac.com/194130/why-apple-should-buy-nokia-to-fix-their-mapping-disaster/">

And I think it's a good thing.

Funny, the captcha is "sacking." Does that mean the editors should be sacked?

Re:NOOOOOO (5, Insightful)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 2 years ago | (#41595623)

Yep, the author doesn't investigate what agreements are in place between Nokia and MS. That could make an Apple purchase a poor choice (or not). This looks like some dude saw last weeks article about Nokias mapping efforts and decided he thinks Apple should buy them. Unfortunately he's got an audience.

Re:NOOOOOO (5, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | about 2 years ago | (#41595727)

Mod parent up insightful. This is a real concern and has both benefits and risks. Look at how Google is doing with Motorola, they've bought both the patents and the associated lawsuits.

Re:NOOOOOO (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#41595771)

If anyone is going to buy Nokia, it makes sense for Microsoft to do so. It could become Microsoft's chief mobile hardware partner, and perhaps could offer something in the Xbox arena. The result would be a partnership similar to Google and Motorola.

Re:NOOOOOO (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#41595893)

Given the fact that Microsoft want to make their own tablet hardware, it makes sense they might want their own mobile hardware as well.

Re:NOOOOOO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595933)

Given the fact that Microsoft want to make their own tablet hardware, it makes sense they might want their own mobile hardware as well.

Completely agree with you there. I don't think it is viable for any business in that field to concentrate on just one model, table ot phone.

AG

www.NoFussHotels.com

Re:NOOOOOO (4, Insightful)

korgitser (1809018) | about 2 years ago | (#41596045)

They already have made Nokia their bitch, and that only cost them one incompetent manager.
Remember Elop, the Troyan Horse running Nokia? He is handling all the good pieces to Microsoft on a silver plate for free, while scrapping everything not relevant to the Brave New Windows Smartphone Future(TM). Like Nokia's immensely profitable presence in the third world - Nokias featurephones were doing the smartphone revolution everywhere but the West. They had a headstart and were pretty much guaranteed to sell billions, until Elop came around and said 'does not run Windows, scrap it'.
So, they already have what they want, and are already scuttling the rest, so why would they want to waste more money on it?

Re:NOOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596217)

Is a Troyan Horse similar to a Trojan Horse but from Troy rather than to Troy?

Re:NOOOOOO (4, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | about 2 years ago | (#41596311)

If anyone is going to buy Nokia, it makes sense for Microsoft to do so. It could become Microsoft's chief mobile hardware partner, and perhaps could offer something in the Xbox arena. The result would be a partnership similar to Google and Motorola.

Yeah, but Nokia's a publicly traded company. They're valued at about $10B... pocket change for Apple. And they have the best mapping data in the world... Apple has arguably lost more than $10B in valuation for not having such data.

Apple could buy Nokia, keep the mapping and patents, divest the mobile manufacturing to Microsoft and come out way ahead.

Re:NOOOOOO (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596435)

"Yeah, but Nokia's a publicly traded company. They're valued at about $10B... pocket change for Apple. And they have the best mapping data in the world... Apple has arguably lost more than $10B in valuation for not having such data."

please say after me:

Correlation does not imply causation. [wikipedia.org]

Re:NOOOOOO (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41596905)

Repeat after me Apple has $100 Billion in cash. Nokia, might cost anywhere between $6 - $10 billion. Apple can buy Nokia.

Re:NOOOOOO (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41596881)

Or you could read the article and understand the points being made. Since you don't know what agreement is in place between Nokia and Microsoft, you're talking out of your ass.

Re:NOOOOOO (5, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 2 years ago | (#41595841)

Totally. It's only a matter of time before the remnants of Nokia become a Microsoft Department, with the transfer of patents that was the only thing MS wanted from the start. Would make a lot of sense for Apple to grab them, but there's just no way it'll happen with Elop prepping, and if Apple did eventually buy it, it'd be a husk of a company with the patents/IP already long gone. Now, a partnership/agreement to cross license for 3 years perhaps, finally wipe out Android through sustained heavy lawsuit fire? That'd make sense. But Apple has learned too well, and after finishing off Android, will be waiting for the knife in the back from Microsoft. No, it can't work, it's too messed up, and apart from the IP, there's not a lot worth buying.

Re:NOOOOOO (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596293)

I strongly suspect the EU would balk at such a purchase as anti-competitive as well.

Re:NOOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596117)

"NOOOOOO"? You sound like Apple's bitch.

Re:NOOOOOO (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 2 years ago | (#41596235)

I dunno if bitch is the right term, but that arrangement tells us that the brilliant idea that the Forbes writer got - MS got there, oh, about 2 years ago.

These companies are going opposite directions (3, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41595587)

Apple: it must look good, work out of the box, and be very simple so that even a hipster in skinny jeans and Ray-Bans can do it.

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.

These companies are opposites. Merging them together will just get us stylized Nokias that lack the legendary bulletproof Nokia quality.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595649)

Or just make Nokia disappear. If Apple bought them out, why on earth would they keep making phones? It would be an IP grab and to snuff out a not-very-competitive competitor.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (1, Funny)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 years ago | (#41595661)

How can you call apple the opposite of "solid as a rock"? If anything, the metal and glass iphones are the solidest phones out there compared to all the plastic phones everyone else is making.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595711)

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

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595805)

Have you heard of the iPhone 5? Anodized aluminum back.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41595823)

Glass will shatter, but it is harder than plastic. All materials come with a tradeoff.

I think the material debate is kind of absurd anyway, since hardly anyone goes caseless. At this point, they really should just sell sturdy, ugly, phone "guts" and let any company sell cases for it.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596113)

Being harder isn't always the best thing for a material.
Materials that allow for a certain amount of flex can absorb impacts better than something that is just hard and inflexible.

As for phone cases, most people i know either have NO case [I've only had one case myself and that was for carrying convenience when I had to have two phones for a few months] or have thin 'cover' style cases that only emphasize protecting the phone from other things in their pockets.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (4, Informative)

bonehead (6382) | about 2 years ago | (#41596175)

since hardly anyone goes caseless.

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

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596549)

Glass will shatter, but it is harder than plastic. All materials come with a tradeoff.

I think the material debate is kind of absurd anyway, since hardly anyone goes caseless. At this point, they really should just sell sturdy, ugly, phone "guts" and let any company sell cases for it.

LOL. You're casing it wrong, right? I have a "flimsy plastic smartphone" and it has no need for a hideous looking rubber sleeve.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (1)

jeffy210 (214759) | about 2 years ago | (#41596685)

You have got to be kidding. I was in a meeting yesterday and 6 of us had iPhones on the table, only 1 had a case on it. Most tech people I know don't use cases because they know how to handle their phones and not drop them.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41596903)

Hardly any IPHONE users go caseless. That is because I phones are notoriously fragile.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 years ago | (#41596907)

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

And what is glass made of?

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595941)

There's a difference between making a product out of "solid" materials, and building something with "solid" build quality.

Besides, you don't want a stiff shell on a phone, it just transfers shock to the screen and internal components instead of reducing the force like a plastic case would. Making the case too stiff actually makes things worse as you get shock focusing, whereby the force is transferred through the solid material to the point where it meets a component that will give, focusing all the energy on a small area, making the problem worse. THis may explain why the iphone does OK in some drop tests, but poorly at certain angles.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (3, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#41595679)

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.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#41595819)

Because the Nokia phones that most North Americans have had exposure to are from many years ago back when Nokia was popular here. LIke, *many* years ago.

I had an old Nokia 6160 more then a decade ago, and the thing was virtually indestructible.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (2)

bonehead (6382) | about 2 years ago | (#41596289)

many years ago back when Nokia was popular here. LIke, *many* years ago.

Yep. Nokia's reign as king in the US died out right along with TDMA, more or less.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596729)

I still have a Nokia N770 that has found its way down a couple of concrete stairwells in its lifetime. Somehow it's still chugging along.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:These companies are going opposite directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595917)

Apple doesn't need to merge with Nokia, they can buy them, take their mapping data and software, their patents and their R&D department (if Elop hasn't got rid of that) and dissolve the rest.

Nokia software (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#41596505)

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.

Maybe you are talking about their hardware from WAY back when. Nokia's software absolutely sucks. It's not solid, barely interfaces with anything, it is not well designed and certainly isn't convenient to use. I used Nokia phones for about 10 years before finally getting fed up. The hardware was ok, not great (and not rock solid) but acceptable at the time. Their software was horrendous.

not the best investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595589)

Apple has enough patents of their own to hold their ground

Maps will get better with time

They built a great phone on their first attempt. I dont think they really need Nokias expertise to beam TV shows.

Re:not the best investment (1, Funny)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41595617)

"Maps will get better with time"

Customer's tempers won't.

Re:not the best investment (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41596139)

Maps? The installer for it can't possibly get any worse.

Currently it opens up a browser button with two buttons, both of which do nothing.

Nokia just can't do software.

Antitrust issues anyone? (2)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 2 years ago | (#41595599)

I foresee trouble in that area.

Re:Antitrust issues anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595699)

No issues if they wait for the big fire sale and pay a lot less when that happens. Nokia would be divided up into auction IPs and there is no antitrust issues for looting the dead body.

Re:Antitrust issues anyone? (1)

qvatch (576224) | about 2 years ago | (#41595759)

The opposite is more likely, them keeping nokia afloat so that there is still a maker of microsoft phones.

Bad all around (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595605)

10% of their cash isn't a drop in the bucket, and that's just for the patents - the rest of the company wouldn't be free.

Knocking out WIndows Mobile through a buyout would make Apple even more hated and even more like MS of the 1990s, as would beginning a whole new range of lawsuits based on Nokia's patents.

Bad idea.

Pretty big drop (5, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 2 years ago | (#41595621)

I know I am being picayune, but 10% is not a drop in the bucket. Not even in the colloquial sense. Unless it is a teeny tiny bucket that only holds 10 drops.

Re:Pretty big drop (0)

JTsyo (1338447) | about 2 years ago | (#41596841)

Was about to post the same thing. So I'll just post a +1.

Would never be approved (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595627)

Not in the US, and especially not in the EU.

Too many anti-trust issues.

Re:Would never be approved (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41595743)

Given Apple's recent history on the use and abuse of patents, I'd be against this, but I have to ask: from a legal and anti-trust point of view, what is the difference between Apple swallowing Nokia, and Google swallowing Motorola? I don't think the regulators really go on the basis of "Well, Google gives us free shit and only sues companies that sue it and its partners, while Apple's got that whole "We must kill Android whatever the cost" stuff going on"

Re:Would never be approved (2)

nickovs (115935) | about 2 years ago | (#41596059)

The test that the competition regulators apply is "Will this reduce competition and consumer choice?" When Google bought Motorola Motorola was already a maker of Android phones and the immediate effect on the market was small. If Apple bought Nokia it would almost certainly want to kill Nokia's Windows phones, which would largely kill Windows Mobile, which would significantly reduce choice. There is no way that the EU would allow this and it seems unlikely that the US would allow it either (although that would be moot if the EU nixed it).

Re:Would never be approved (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41596629)

Motorola made a variety of phones prior to the Google take-over. It didn't just make Android phones. I would assume a "consumer choice" issue wouldn't care about phones that a take-over target makes that are likely to continue being made, so much as devices and categories of device that a take-over target makes that are likely to be discontinued.

In addition to many home grown operating systems, Motorola was a maker of Windows Mobile [google.com] phones, and was talked up as a WP7 OEM until the Google takeover. So if this is about Nokia being a provider of Windows phones, why would this apply to Nokia and not Motorola?

Apple/Nokia very different than Google/Motorola (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596061)

Motorola made Android phones, but didn't make Android. Google makes Android and doesn't make any phones. Google buying Motorola is vertical integration within Android, and doesn't lead to any reduction in choice for consumers - the same set of phones are available with the same OS.

Apple makes iOS and iOS phones. Nokia makes Windows 8 phones (and is the ONLY maker of Windows 8 phones). Apple buying Nokia at best reduces the commitment to Windows phones in the market (and possibly eliminates them from the market if Apple decided to axe them). Apple buying Nokia a.) likely reduces the options available to consumers in the short term, and b.) quite possibly destroys one of the four major phone OS options, leading to reduced choices in the future.

From an antitrust point of view, that's a seismic difference.

Re:Would never be approved (1)

niado (1650369) | about 2 years ago | (#41596813)

It's probably more complicated than this, but Google and Motorola were not really in the same business. Google makes Android, but they don't really make hardware. Motorola Mobility was primarily a hardware company, so Google essentially added a component to their supply chain with the purchase.

Apple and Nokia (through their partnership with Microsoft) are direct competitors in the end-to-end smartphone market, in which there are only a few players.

Nokia is more than just patents (2)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#41595631)

Nokia's patents may be purchasable, but buying the entire company would be a huge investment for Apple, one which would provide hardly any value outside of the patent portfolio - Nokia's products, philosophy, almost everything are completely orthogonal to Apple's. This is a terrible idea.

Re:Nokia is more than just patents (0)

Guppy (12314) | about 2 years ago | (#41596077)

Nokia's patents may be purchasable, but buying the entire company would be a huge investment for Apple, one which would provide hardly any value outside of the patent portfolio - Nokia's products, philosophy, almost everything are completely orthogonal to Apple's. This is a terrible idea.

Switch Apple & Nokia with Google & Motorola. Patent Wars are making companies do crazy things.

Little problem... (1, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41595637)

buying your 4th (or 5th) largest competitor so that your 3rd largest competitor can't survive in the market could be called "anti-trust". Something MSFT knows all about...

"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tactic (3, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | about 2 years ago | (#41595643)

Microsoft is *already* on it's heels. Apple is worth far more than Microsoft and appears to have a better strategy going forward. Taking any opportunity to knock Microsoft down makes no business sense and distracts from their mission.

Re:"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tac (2)

artemis67 (93453) | about 2 years ago | (#41595837)

Agreed...Apple has absolutely nothing to fear from Microsoft. Microsoft is destroying themselves from the inside. For Apple to buy Nokia, that might cause Microsoft to wake the fuck up and start building their own phones, like Apple does.

If Apple really wants to see Microsoft fail, the best option is to let them continue down the path they are currently on.

Re:"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tac (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41596331)

Agreed...Apple has absolutely nothing to fear from Microsoft. Microsoft is destroying themselves from the inside. For Apple to buy Nokia, that might cause Microsoft to wake the fuck up and start building their own phones, like Apple does.

If Apple really wants to see Microsoft fail, the best option is to let them continue down the path they are currently on.

Apple make a lot of money producing one phone! with propriety hardware! proprietary software! Only Differentiating with older models and storage! have proprietary connections! Leaving of more Useful features [memory card; ethernet; usb]! Falling behind in Marketshare; Hardware; Software...but have massive mindshare [both media; public; government], and because of these are able to have massive mark-ups on products. You really think Microsoft could pull this off...in an established market, with strong players with enough money not to be bought off; bullied; bribed; outlasted on price cuts. Other than pissing off established parties [HTC] it has fail written all over it.

Personally I think selling the software to third parties is the right method. Its just a shame they don't have a compelling product like Android.

Re:"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tac (3, Insightful)

Alkonaut (604183) | about 2 years ago | (#41596013)

I'd rather have microsofts revenue than apples, even if apples is larger. Reason? Apples revenue comes from consumer electronics. That can change overnight if Apple just blows it once with a new release. Microsoft has a huge corporate revenue stream as well as a lot more lock-in from software. To put it another way: microsoft can release vista fiv times over without losing much revenue to e.g. Mac OS. If the iPhone6 is crap and samsung's offering is brilliant then Apple is in trouble. Apple have to deliver continuously, MS not so much.

Re:"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tac (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 2 years ago | (#41596605)

I'd rather have revenue that comes from hardware than software. Software is sort of like a bubble because once free alternatives crop up that are of sufficient quality, the bubble pops. In the long term Microsoft has to change their business strategy because they won't be able to maintain that Office lock-in forever. And once they lose the Office lock-in (which LibreOffice and Google Docs are already working on doing), they put Windows in vulnerable situation to lose its lock-in to a Linux variant.

There was a time when the FOSS naysayers claimed that OOo would never match the quality/usability/compatibility of MS Office but every year since the LibreOffice fork that gap has narrowed more and more. LibreOffice, being free, doesn't have to close that gap completely, it just has to close it enough for the gap to be irrelevant.

Linux is the same way. It's sort of a mess right now, but it does continuously improve and remains free. Just look at Android. It's too bad that Google hasn't thrown its weight behind a serious Linux variant rather than Chrome OS, or the year of the Linux desktop might have already been. Remember, Microsoft is jumping into the hardware space for a reason: they know that consumer software isn't sustainable in the long term. Software has a $0 replication and distribution cost, thus driving the price to $0 dollars. Hardware will never have this issue.

Re:"...knock Microsoft on it's heels..." = bad tac (2)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41596803)

I'd rather have microsofts revenue than apples, even if apples is larger. Reason? Apples revenue comes from consumer electronics. That can change overnight if Apple just blows it once with a new release. Microsoft has a huge corporate revenue stream as well as a lot more lock-in from software. To put it another way: microsoft can release vista fiv times over without losing much revenue to e.g. Mac OS. If the iPhone6 is crap and samsung's offering is brilliant then Apple is in trouble. Apple have to deliver continuously, MS not so much.

Worse, Apple's value is entirely coupled to the close association of a narrow set of consumer hardware to a walled garden set of media. Loss of market in either will start to very quickly erode the other because they, effectively, have all their eggs in one big basket. Microsoft has several *thousand* products. (Half of which, I'd hazard a guess, virtually no one outside of a fairly narrow space has ever even heard of.)

As someone with a fairly large investment in both companies, I think you're absolutely right. Apple is a high yield, high risk stock. Microsoft's stock is rock stable in price specifically because investors know its not going anywhere. Its a long term investment that pays good dividends and is a safe place to put it. Apple's stock is best to day-trade, because it rides 10% swings constantly. Microsoft's value doesn't concern me at all... it'll slowly rise, it'll slowly fall but its too diversified to do either quickly. Apple's a constant game of worry -- hoping it doesn't implode before some particular block of stock in my portfolio ticks over to a long-term cap gain rather than short term, and wondering if its best to take the short term cap gain hit and get out before it implodes.

Consumers, to your point, are fickle. Sony was the Apple of the 90's, and it didn't last. Apple likely won't either... and their "innovation" (or complete lack thereof) since Jobs' death should (and does) significantly worry investors.

Monopoly (0)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about 2 years ago | (#41595655)

The last comment about knocking out WP8 does seem like it would come dangerously close to violating the Sherman Anti-Trust act. Granted, HTC and Droid all exist, but it still doesn't sound like it would end well.

Re:Monopoly (1, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41595729)

Apple is in a distant second place in the smartphone market, acquiring Nokia wouldn't involve antitrust at all. Hell, even google could acquire Nokia without problems (because the Android industry is already very diverse).

I support Apple buying Nokia, only because it would fuck Microsoft over.

And fucking Microsoft over can only be a good thing for everyone.

Oh Great, Another One of These Stories (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41595693)

This isn't news, this is Bruce Upbin, Forbes Staff "reporting" on some random article by another journalist named Tristan Louis who lists his credentials as:

Tristan Louis is an Internet veteran, having worked in the Internet industry since 1993. Throughout the years, Mr. Louis has been known as the founder of Internet.com, a co-founder of Earthweb's developer.com, the interim CTO for Boo.com, and has held many other roles at start-ups during the first dotcom boom.

And this guy is commenting on why Apple should buy Nokia? Really? That's "news" to us? It's basically a list of half baked points. I know how this works, I've seen it in my uncle. He used to play sports in high school and when we watch a Vikings game he is just exasperated at how terrible the coaches are. Why, if he was in that game, he'd know exactly what plays to call and he could probably even be the quarterback and throw this football clear over them mountains.

The piece fails to explain why Apple shouldn't merely license Nokia's map services instead of kicking $10 billion out for it (oh, by the way, 10% of your total liquid assets is not a "drop in the bucket"). It fails to analyze many of the other assets of Nokia (oh, come on, like Apple would continue making Nokia's candy bar phones) and just assumes Apple would like to pay for all that stuff. It doesn't consider all the EU approvals that Apple would need and he ends this list with Apple doing "a double-reverse with a flip" which sounds a lot like the plays my uncle would call in a professional football game.

In short, build your own $100 billion dollar empire and then you can throw it away yourself. Until then, I don't think this shallow "analysis" of two phone makers was ever worth my time. It could at least be comprehensive and delve into the financials of the deal and possible repercussions (like yet another little guy dying and the market becoming more inbred with less options).

Re:Oh Great, Another One of These Stories (1)

Bozdune (68800) | about 2 years ago | (#41595839)

I'm with your uncle. F'in Vikings can't call plays, and I get all my news from Forbes. Excuse me while I churn the butter.

Re:Oh Great, Another One of These Stories (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#41596089)

Is this [al.com] your uncle?

Re:Oh Great, Another One of These Stories (5, Funny)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#41596115)

Tristan Louis is an Internet veteran, having worked in the Internet industry since 1993. Throughout the years, Mr. Louis has been known as the founder of Internet.com, a co-founder of Earthweb's developer.com, the interim CTO for Boo.com, and has held many other roles at start-ups during the first dotcom boom.

But, he's an Internet veteran! He's set up over five and a half websites! They don't just let every Tom, Dick, and Harry set up a website these days.

Question. Does his laundry list of titles include "Social Media Entrepreneur"? Because then we'll know he's the real deal.

One more thing... (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 years ago | (#41595715)

No one has yet mentioned one other important thing if Apple bought Nokia. Nokia is Microsoft's flagship handset manufacturer for it's Winphones. If Apple did nothing more than announce they were considering buying Nokia, that would generate a tremendous amount of FUD that could decimate Microsoft's mobile plans.

Re:One more thing... (2)

amliebsch (724858) | about 2 years ago | (#41596431)

Actually HTC is making the "signature" WP8 devices, not Nokia.

Re:One more thing... (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41596811)

Actually HTC is making the "signature" WP8 devices, not Nokia.

You should know better than to bring facts to a Slashdot Microsoft-bashing!

no clue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595721)

Hugh has no idea what he is talking about regarding maps, it's called research, not opinion.
Look at it from the perspective of vertical market integration and data technollgical backends and application developement and then you could bandy terms about based on actual knowledge and not ill informed speculation.
Your in good company, however, as no other commenters or bloggers or e gurus on the subject know anything either.
In this business if you want to know what I know you can pay my outrageous consulting fee or you can do your homework.
Me, I gave all the free I'm gonna give, consider it a sample. (in previous posts)

Re:no clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595873)

The truth hurts, apparently

Arsenal of patents... oh yeah... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41595763)

Lately, we have been seeing a LOT of attention on the problem of patents. Not just software patents, but patents in general. If Apple bought Nokia now, they will either have to exploit those patents now or face losing all of their value.

When I start hearing lay people discuss the problems of patents, (and I have heard this recently) I know it's not just geek interest any longer. Now it's getting in the way of their next gadget purchase and they are taking notice.

Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595795)

The only case Apple should buy for Nokia is a basket.

The patents are at Mosaid/Sisvel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595813)

The best patents from Nokia are in Mosaid, a Canadian patent troll they created to try to extract money from Android handset makers without ever having to face a challenge from Google, (and helping them avoid litigation from Google via the shell company) and Sisvel a similar troll.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57445061-75/google-blasts-microsoft-nokia-for-hiding-behind-patent-trolls/

This was part of the $2 billion Elop got for going with the Windows 7 phone.

They don't really have much else left, Windows phone isn't selling, so Apple doesn't need to buy them to kill it. The patents are gone, the maps? Again they were signed over to Windows Phone as part of the $2 billion. Microsoft cherry picked it all, the core is left, but Elop will quickly turn that into a rotting carcass. Presumably that will be sold to Microsoft at a knockdown price, and Elop will emerge somehow as richer than before.

Sadly for Nokia, Not Necessary. (3, Interesting)

glassKarma (1215468) | about 2 years ago | (#41595817)

In short, Apple doesn't need Nokia. Nokia has reinvented itself many times since it made shoes and tires, and it's WELL OVERDUE to do that again. The problem is cell phones are effectively all it does, and it's tragically lacking innovation there (FWIW, I worked for Nokia, and made detailed suggestions over ten years ago about more storage, touch screens, and more battery life, and there was repeated immediate dismissal over how impossible it would be). The sad part is Nokia went to Microsoft rather than it's dedicated developers to find that innovation. Microsoft will even help kill Nokia partly because Nokia doesn't seem to know what to do, and mostly because they forgot Balmer doesn't care about Nokia any more than it can work as a stepping stone for Microsoft to "get back on top." Yes, buying Nokia would give Microsoft one less out for Windows, but sadly for Nokia (and to be fair, IMNSHO) Microsoft's overwhelming priority is to do its own work for Windows 8 after getting Nokia to abandoning [small] teams of [highly] devoted Symbian developers as part of the fallout in committing to The Balmer; proof.

Fantasyland (3, Interesting)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 2 years ago | (#41595851)

I think I agree with the commentor on the Forbes site who put this squarely in the realm of fantasyland. Microsoft has already given Nokia $2 billion and Elop seems committed to Microsoft's camp. Aren't there other Maps providers on the internet that Apple could potentially partner with? Mapquest? Somebody?

Re:Fantasyland (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596087)

Google, oh wait...

Not so fast (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Dream on! (1)

notb666 (1863678) | about 2 years ago | (#41595969)

This is never happening.

Nokia is a sinking ship (1)

Khopesh (112447) | about 2 years ago | (#41595985)

Nokia is a sinking ship; they can't do things well when handed them on a silver platter (look at all that Qt phone stuff; absolutely beautiful, but they did nothing with their alliance with Intel, letting Intel do all the dev work on MeeGo et al). Why would Apple want to buy Nokia except to gut it and use it as a manufacturing arm and discard everything else save Navteq? Is Navteq really worth burning pretty much ALL of their money to buy? IIRC, Samsung produces some of the iPhone's parts and Foxcon is on strike, so a change in manufacturing may be wise, but it still seems far too pricey to pull off, especially given all the anti-trust trouble it would create.

Tag (1)

Idetuxs (2456206) | about 2 years ago | (#41595993)

No comments. Fix it.

[...] doing maps 'for a long time now, and they a href="http://www.cultofmac.com/194130/why-apple-should-buy-nokia-to-fix-their-mapping-disaster/">have access to even more data than Google." Next, Nokia has a treasure [...]

Ridiculous (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#41596037)

Never get past EU regulators.

Fix Maps, only? (4, Informative)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 2 years ago | (#41596127)

why-apple-should-buy-nokia-to-fix-their-mapping-disaster

Maps is a disaster. But what about the other iOS6 problems (some here [macworld.com] ). 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.

Re:Fix Maps, only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596317)

you may be right, and then again, you may be wrong.

but even if you are right with your "inovation is dead" argument... are you seriously sugesting that apple buys nokia to solve this?! WFT??! NOKIA?! are you insane?!

Re:Fix Maps, only? (2)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#41596365)

Are you sure you're not just concern trolling? I mean, Apple's maps are not perfect, but neither were Google's. I find the new maps faster than and about as accurate as Google's, though they do have fewer place locations. (I suspect that last will change rapidly now that people are using the product.) But I can at least see the argument that maps need improvement on iOS. I can even see an argument that Apple doesn't focus enough on products like iWork once they're out, such that they fall behind over time, which is an argument you didn't make. But the rest of your worries are, to be frank, more like FUD than any real concerns a real Apple user would have.

Re:Fix Maps, only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596423)

Oh wow. Maps is a disaster? It wasn't that great when it was Google's app. Have people really forgotten the reason why there is an app store and you don't have to settle for what comes with the phone? Anyone?
 
Aside from that, I agree with the MacWorld article about how Apple botched the music app if you have iMatch.

Re:Fix Maps, only? (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#41596569)

How much innovation do you want on a per-release basis? I think they did a lot -- newer, larger screen, thinner design, completely new interface port (with zero adapters available until some started shipping YESTERDAY), completely new mapping system.

That's a lot of "innovation" even if it doesn't necessarily translate into new, glitzy things you want or substantial, obvious changes. An MMC slot would have been nice, but Apple really doesn't/hasn't supported external storage as a matter of policy/design philosophy. It's purposeful, not because they don't know how.

And they have to balance substantial changes against consumer desire -- if the 4/4S was very popular, it's a reach to assume that Apple could sell a radically different physical device or one with some other radical change.

IMHO, smartphones generally are kind of running out of obvious, low-hanging fruit without some substantial leaps technology and functionality wise. The thing I'm waiting for is a wireless (NOT 802.11) display protocol that enables touch functionality on a larger, external display.

Re:Fix Maps, only? (4, Informative)

wzinc (612701) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Meh. Here we go again (1)

shking (125052) | about 2 years ago | (#41596173)

These "insights" keep popping up every few months. A little while ago, everybody was telling Apple and MS to buy RIM. Following the herd is for sheep

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596205)

First off, everyone was impressed with the Lumia 920. The problem was that they didn't say when it's available, and where. Second, Nokia employs over 100,000 people, many of them in Europe, meaning that it's very expensive to get rid of them. Buying Nokia would take at least 50 billion EUR. Not even Apple can afford it. Third, it's not up for sale.

Somebody has Nokia stock ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596263)

Call me cynical, but as soon as a I read this article I thought that someone is hoping for either bump in the stock or that this mad idea would take hold. That way they could dump their stock. Or maybe just plain wishful thinking... just to sooth the butt hurt of having bought their stock. XD

Stupid idea (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#41596265)

1)Microsoft would almost without question fight any buyout offer for Nokia by Apple tooth and nail and Microsoft has a war chest big enough to buy Nokia themselves. There is no way Apple would be able to buy the company for a reasonable price. Microsoft needs Nokia worse than Apple does right now.

2)Nokia has committed to the Microsoft platform and changing direction at this point would be tremendously costly. In fact it would probably kill the Nokia to try at this point.

3)Nokia does a lot of business with low margin products that are definitely not in Apple's wheelhouse. Apple already makes most of the profit in the cell phone industry. They would have to take on a lot of products in markets that they don't know well that make essentially no profit if they bought Nokia.

4)There would be huge company culture issues. Apple has a very unique company culture and a big acquisition would bring a lot of problems.

5) If Nokia goes under, Apple can probably buy assets it needs without the extra baggage of the rest of a troubled company

6)Apple's problems with their Maps is a fixable problem without involving Nokia. Yeah, they dropped the ball but they have the resources to make it work so long as they don't screw a lot of other things up at the same time.

I agree, except for point 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596585)

It's trivial to port Android to Nokia platforms, hobbyists do it all the time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcpFvbPX580

Nokia could tomorrow make an Android phone. It would take a big chunk of Samsung's new found market share in the process. FFS, companies like Oppo, a tiny tiny Chinese maker, can make Android phones in a few months, Nokia certainly can. The hardware is the same, the assembly line the same, most of the component identical, the software need compiled and a few tweaks to a few drivers and they're done.

It doesn't do that because Elop made some deal with Microsoft which Nokia has to pay with this suicide.

Where the hell are the Nokia Board in this? He had his WP7 strategy, it flopped so badly, at what point are they going to do their job and chuck him overboard???

Hiddent costs? (2)

AdamInParadise (257888) | about 2 years ago | (#41596345)

Let's say Apple buy Nokia for those reasons (Maps, patents and Fuck Microsoft). Apple now has to fire 95% of the company (they only keep the IP lawyers and the mapheads). Nokia has 122,000 employees, many of them in Europe were they cannot be fired easily. That's 116,000 pink slips. A $100000 redundancy payment per person seems about right ("Apple is loaded"). That's about $12 billions. Combine that with Nokia's market cap (about $10bn) and the price rises to $22bn. I guess Apple could technically afford it, but the damage to their image could cost them even more.

Selling shares (1)

trevc (1471197) | about 2 years ago | (#41596433)

Sounds like somebody is trying to offload their Nokia stock.

If anyone should buy Nokia.... (1)

sakkathotmagaa (2728241) | about 2 years ago | (#41596513)

maybe it should be Samsung? This would be a blow to most of the big players, as well as de-risking any Android power play by Google via their Motorola acquisition. Plus, it would expand their (already large) market share, give them control of more patents and put a lot of pressure on Apple.

Idiots. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#41596649)

I can't believe I'm seeing a piece on slashdot that's seriously saying that thinning out the marketplace is a good thing.

This shit again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596689)

Honestly, what is this obsession with people spending other people's (company's) money?

God forbid they'd have cash-on-hand vs. being leveraged beyond all recognition.

Hey, it worked for the banks . . . if you fail, mea culpa and go back to doing it the same way.

Spend your own money and stop anal-ising others . . .

Maps controversy is hogwash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596875)

What a bunch of hogwash. This entire map controversy is nothing and overblown. Google maps on the iphone stunk. While apple has a lot of work to do to match the functionality of google maps on Android the apple app is good enough. More importantly it add in my opinion the most important thing to consumers, turn by turn navigation. Besides tech journalists and newspapers that write Apple in every headline to attract the trolls there are few other people who care about the apple map app.

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