Microsoft has announced that it’s selling its feature phone division to Foxconn for the princely sum of $US350 million ($484.7 million).
While Microsoft claims it will continue to work on Windows 10 Mobile and the Lumia smartphone brand, it will hand over all of the assets relating to its Nokia-branded feature phones, “including brands, software and services, care network and other assets, customer contracts, and critical supply agreements”.
A Foxconn subsidiary, FIH Mobile, will take on the business, along with 4500 employees. It’s expected the deal will be completed in the second half of 2016.
Microsoft purchased Nokia’s phone division three years ago for $US7.1 billion ($9.8 billion). That deal saw 32,000 Nokia employees join Microsoft. Its foray into phone hardware hasn’t been a huge success so far, but maybe jettisoning the feature phone wing will allow it double down on the smartphones it clings to. Maybe. Did someone mention Surface Phone?