Microsoft has just confirmed that it’sto FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn, and HMD Global for just $350 million (€310 million), as it continues the struggle to restructure its mobile strategy and become more relevant in this particular market.
Furthermore, Foxconn will also purchase Microsoft Mobile Vietnam, which is the manufacturing facility that the software giant had in Vietnam and specifically focused on feature phones.
Approximately 4,500 employees will be transferred from Microsoft to the new owner, the company explains.
“As part of the deal, Microsoft will transfer substantially all of its feature phone assets, including brands, software and services, care network and other assets, customer contracts, and critical supply agreements, subject to compliance with local law. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions,” Microsoft announced only a few minutes ago.
The Lumia brand lives on
While many might see this as the end of the line for the Lumia series, it’s not, as Microsoft says that it actually wants to “continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones.” But what’s interesting is that the company says it’ll support “Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950, and 950 XL,” so these are likely the three models that will push Microsoft’s mobile strategy forward.
People with knowledge of the matter said that Microsoft no longer wants to launch new Lumia phones, but focus exclusively on the Surface Phone coming next year.
By giving up on the feature phone business, Microsoft can concentrate solely on the smartphone strategy and figure out a way to make the Surface Phone, should it launch next year, and Windows 10 Mobile successful.
Microsoft took over the feature phone unit in 2014, when it purchased the Nokia Devices and Services unit, and has the rights to use the Nokia brand until 2024.