A report filed by Bloomberg paints a grim picture for Nokia Oyj workers the world over. With an announced and looming restructuring in the works, the publication writes that “a reduction in research and development activities is set to be announced by the end of the month” and that “as many as 6,000 jobs” could be cut. Back in February — just days before Mobile World Congress — the company’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, announced that Nokia would adopt Microsoft’s recently released Windows Phone operating system on future smartphones. The announcement also noted that the company would begin to sunset development, support, and research activities centered around the Symbian and MeeGo operating systems — the two mobile operating systems currently utilized by Nokia phones. This reduction in activity translates into a surplus of unneeded, full-time job positions. At the close of 2010, Nokia employed 58,642 people in its handset organisation — 16,134 work in research and development. The company has over 16,000 workers located in Finland, and accounts for just north of 2% of that country’s total gross domestic product.
Following in Apple’s footsteps, AT&T has reduced the price of original iPad models by $100 online and in its retail locations. A 16GB iPad will now retail for $529, 32GB for $629 and 64GB for $729. If you were contemplating an iPad before, and aren’t blown away by the new features of the iPad 2, hit up your local AT&T or Apple Store and save. Anyone out there going to pick up an original iPad in light of the iPad 2 announcement? More →
An unconfirmed report from industry watcher DigiTimes suggests Apple may have been forced to reduce its first-quarter iPad production by as much as 50%. The report cites upstream component makers in claiming Apple’s first-quarter iPad 2 production volume has been revised down from between 400,000 and 600,000 units to between 300,000 and 400,000 units. The new lower production targets are allegedly the result of display panel shortages and last-minute specification changes Apple made ahead of production. Earlier rumors suggested Apple’s spec changes might delay the launch of Apple’s iPad 2, but DigiTimes claims the tablet is still on track for a second-quarter release. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPad tablet at a media event next week. More →
A Nokia spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that Nokia will cut fewer jobs in an upcoming round of layoffs than it initially announced. Speaking with Bloomberg Businessweek, Nokia spokeswoman Paeivyt Tallqvist confirmed that Nokia’s upcoming workforce reductions would trim 500 workers from various locations in Finland. The cell phone maker said last month that 800 employees would be let go. According to the revised agreement with unions, Nokia will cut 120 jobs from its headquarters in Espoo, 198 from its Tampere location, 103 from Oulu and and 82 from its manufacturing plant in Salo. More →
Sprint on Wednesday lowered the price of the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet to $299.99 with a new two-year contract or $499.99 with no contract. The new pricing represents a $100 reduction for both on-contract and contract-free purchases. It also lines up with Best Buy’s adjusted pricing for Sprint’s Galaxy Tab, which BGR reported exclusively last week. The Galaxy Tab was a big success for Samsung in 2010, having sold over 1 million units in less than two months of availability. The tablet features a 7-inch touchscreen display, dual cameras, video chat support and the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system. Sprint’s version of the Galaxy Tab is capable of connecting to its 3G network or any Wi-Fi network for data connectivity. 3G service for Sprint’s tablet costs either $29.99 per month for 2 GB of data, or $59.99 for 5 GB. More →
Today, during their Q3 2010 earnings call, WiMAX network operator Clearwire announced that it would be slashing 15% of its workforce and instituting several “cash conservation measures” in an attempt to raise “short-term funding.” As the earnings brief reads:
While the Company is cautiously optimistic it will resolve its short-term funding needs in the near future, there can be no assurances. Thus, it is implementing a series of significant cash conservation measures to reduce costs, including: a substantial reduction in sales and marketing spending, a suspension of additional retail channel market launches of the CLEAR-branded operations in select markets including Denver and Miami, delays in the introduction of CLEAR-branded smartphones, a substantial reduction in the contractor workforce, a 15% reduction in the number of employees, and the discontinuation of development activities for sites not required for its current build plan. The Company currently has thousands of sites in various stages of planning and construction beyond its current build plan, and it intends to suspend zoning and permitting in a portion of those sites until such time as additional funding becomes available. These contemplated initiatives are intended to result in potential cost savings of between $100 million to $200 million in 2010 and again in the first half of 2011.
That certainly doesn’t sound good. We contacted Sprint for comment — as their 4G network depends on Clearwire — and they were kind enough to provide us with a statement. Hit the jump to read Sprint’s take on Clearwire’s situation. More →
Despite solid Q4 2008 earnings, Verizon Wireless is apparently not layoff-proof in this struggling economy but then no company is. Rumor has it that Verizon is in the process of an unannounced work force reduction that began yesterday, February 9th. The rumored layoffs will continue through the end of the month and will affect an unknown number of employees from management level down. As always is the case, low performing employees and those facing disciplinary action are at the highest risk of losing their jobs. This is certainly a difficult economic time and even successful companies may be prompted to let employees in an effort to minimize the impact of the downturn. We hope that this rumor is not as dire as it seems but if it does pan out our condolences are certainly with all who are affected.
UPDATE: Here’s what we think happened after talking with some people in the know… it seems as if this is concerning employees associated with Circuit City (estimated at around 240). Since they are Verizon Wireless employees, Verizon is said to have tried and relocated as many of them as possible to other stores, etc. We’re told that the employees that were let go got severances packages including outplacement services to help them find other employment.