Well, now, I might actually have a future as a tech blogger and analyst after all. Last Saturday, I wrote a piece for Next Conference, speculating that the big push that that Nokia was giving its Here Auto in-car system made it look like it was preparing for a post-phone future.
Sure enough, yesterday, Nokia announced it was selling its phone business to Microsoft, in part of the second big pivot the former rubber company has made. What’s left? An interesting mix of technologies that could make the Nokia that remains post-phones an interesting player in the future where we have embedded screen all around us – in our cars, in our homes, and maybe worn on our person.
I had the chance to visit Nokia’s HQ in Helsinki late last year, as part of a Brilliant Noise project I was involved with (this ebook was the end result of my contribution). It was – and felt like – a company in transition. There were some bright, articulate and thoughtful people there, and a deep commitment to the brand. If enough of those stay with the Nokia that remains, it could well be a company to watch over the next few years, freed once again of the shackles of its past.
As for the new Microsoft with its phone division – well, its future rather depends on who they chose as CEO, doesn’t it?