Nokia’s Presence in Berlin ‘Won’t be Affected’ by Cuts

By David Knight |

Nokia’s presence in Berlin is not likely to be greatly affected by the latest round of cost-cutting announced by the phone giant on Thursday, Silicon Allee understands. The measures will see some 10,000 jobs cut and R&D sites closed at Ulm in Germany and Burnaby in Canada.

But the nature of Nokia’s business in the German capital, focused on the apps which are at the core of what the company wants to do with its phones, will seemingly prevent any large-scale job losses here.

There is still uncertainty, however, with the future of the Finnish company unclear after the announcement, which also warned of worse-than-expected losses in the second quarter of 2012 as well as an additional €1 billion in restructuring costs.

Alongside the two facilities outside of Finland, Nokia’s last remaining plant in its home country will also close, although research there will continue. And Vertu, the global leader in luxury mobile phones, has been sold to private equity investor EQT for a sum believed to be around €200 million.

Not many of the 10,000 jobs to go are likely to be in Berlin, with the kind of apps developed here – free and in the phone, such as geolocation – a key part of Nokia’s future strategy (the company acquired Berlin-based location service Gate5 in 2006). There is reportedly a hiring freeze in place, but there is also optimism amongst the workforce over the Lumia series of phones, the company’s first using the Windows Phone platform after it ditched its own Symbian OS.

With the initial model released late last year, they have been met with mostly positive reviews. Thursday’s announcement revealed that the price range of the Lumia series will be broadened, and new materials, technologies and location-based services will be introduced.