Nokia is to undergo a major restructuring that could see a joint venture with Microsoft, half its executive board ditched and a new head of research and development recruited, according to reports.
The company's stock has already risen by around 10% in the past week on the expectation of a tie up between Nokia and Microsoft, which was tipped by Mobile last year.
Nokia's new chief Stephen Elop moved from Microsoft to Nokia last autumn with a brief to grab share of the smartphone market, where it has been losing out of late to Apple, RIM and Android smartphone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung.
The deal with Microsoft could see Nokia ditch its Symbian operating system for Microsoft’s recently launched Windows Phone 7 OS.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Elop is finalising his plans for the shakeup and that they will be announced on Friday at a meeting with analysts in London.
Elop will brief Nokia executives this Thursday, the WSJ reported.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, Symbian's share of the smartphone market fell from 41% a year ago to 31%.
‘The [remaining Nokia executives] have to come up with something bold’, a source told the WSJ, because ‘Symbian continues to decline’.
Any joint venture with Microsoft will benefit both parties, giving Nokia the ability to break into the US smartphone market boosting its tiny share of 2%.
Meanwhile Nokia’s allegiance to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 will give Microsoft the momentum it needs to challenge Apple, RIM and Android smartphone manufacturers.