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You know the drill. Company switches to Windows Phone. Press release is published. We all get rather excited and crack open a bottle of bubbly. We've got another story to tell you all today as domestic appliance company Miele has announced a switch to Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, following the likes of KONE and other big name brands.

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HTC has released its unaudited October 2012 financial report, which displays a YoY (year-on-year) decrease in revenues of 60 percent. Last month the manufacturer revealed it brought in NT$17.2 billion ($588 million), down from NT$44.114 billion ($1.5 billion) during the same period in 2011. It's not looking rosy for the Taiwanese handset maker, but how can it look to improve?

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Although the Scalado news is inspiring, Nokia is still in the rough as it plans to layoff nearly 10,000 workers by the end of 2013 in a continued restructuring of the company.

In addition, the Finnish firm is planning to close its facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (Research and Development efforts in Salo will remain) while focusing on their Lumia line of phones including "broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform". Part of the cost savings move has also been the successful divestment of the Vertu luxury line of Nokia phones to EQT VI for a rumored 200 million euros ($260 million).

Finally there are leadership changes as well including the promotion of former Microsoft executive Chris Weber from President of Nokia Inc. (US), and head of Markets, North America to executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will join the leadership team of Nokia. The other changes in Nokia's leadership team can be found here.

So what does all of this amount to? There is a lot going on at Nokia including a dramatic reshaping of the company under CEO Stephen Elop driven mostly by market demands and the recent realignment of the company around Windows Phone. Analysts and equity firms have been downgrading Nokia stock for weeks now and this is their response which equates to massive cutbacks both in terms of people and facilities, potentially saving the company a lot of money during these tight times.

Nokia has previously lost 24% of its market share losing out to Samsung for top manufacturer. With the continued stampede of iPhone and Android, Nokia will be relying on Windows Phone 8 and its increasingly popular Lumia line to save it from financial despair. 

Nokia stock is currently trading at $2.79 a share which is near it's 52 week low of $2.61. It will be curious to see how the market responds to these proposed cutbacks and restructuring.

Source: Nokia

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This morning, Nokia has announced that it has acquired imaging firm Scalado for an undisclosed price. Nokia will be picking up everything including their specialists, intellectual property and technology from the company and will be incorporating them into the company sometime in Q3 2012.

Scalado has been working with Nokia for the last 10 years but they've also done work with HTC and most recently RIM on their upcoming BlackBerry 10 and it's new camera functions. That is certainly interesting because RIM itself is in dire straits and they just lost what many considered to be a key partner for re-igniting their brand. Of course what RIM already had in motion with Scalado will probably remain but the Waterloo company should start looking elsewhere for future camera development.

The good news here of course is that Nokia is clearly aiming to get some of the best camera functions on Windows Phone. Currently, HTC is in a bit of a renaissance with their ONE series which focuses heavily on cameras and media capabilities, giving Nokia and others a run for their money.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Scalado's know-how pays off on future Windows Phone 8 devices.

Read the full press release after the break.

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We wrote up quite a lengthy article the other day detailing the possibility of a Facebook smartphone, or "FacePhone" for giggles, so we wont go into too much detail here to save your eyes some repetition. According to a report over at Computerworld, a mobile marketing expert based in Paris has predicted such hardware will emerge in 18 months. Yep, we know what you're thinking. Take this with a truck-load of salt.

Paul Amsellem, managing director of Mobile Network Group and the soul who believes such a device will become reality, also states that Facebook could buy Nokia with the state the manufacturer is in, which would give the social network an easy opportunity to get into the mobile market. This in itself is a wild prediction.

"Facebook will launch the FacePhone. And whether it has a blue color and a logo with a big F on it, it will definitely be disruptive. Even at this moment, Facebook doesn't know what it will look like, but they need to do it. Facebook needs somebody with an understanding of networking, technology, carrier relationships and logistics. They can acquire one of these two players [Nokia / RIM] for not a lot of money." 

Amsellem goes onto say that the company needs to do something, which everyone will agree with. Facebook has found itself in a hole with stocks, revenue streams and innovations for the service itself. For the time being, the social network hangs on as an integrated service or app for current mobile operating systems. This will have a negative impact on advertisement revenues with more and more computer users moving to / adopting portable devices.

Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, hits the Facebook situation nail on the head though.

"Facebook appears to be trying to emulate Google, much like Google tried to emulate Apple. A copy of a copy likely won't end up well, given how powerful both of the primary iOS and Android platforms are."

It boils down to the fact that Facebook really is just a place to communicate with friends, and occasionally water the crops. Is there space for Facebook as an ecosystem with a mobile platform to compete with Microsoft, Apple, RIM and Google? Probably not, but then again this is just an analyst's prediction, and we all know first-hand how inaccurate these can be.

What do you guys think? Would Facebook be punching above its weight?

Source: Computerworld

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Shakeup at Microsoft?

The eminent Wall Street Journal is reporting late last night that Microsoft may be significantly altering its corporate structure around the division focused on videogames, mobile phones and other consumer devices (e.g. Zune, Ford Sync).

As we reported earlier, J Allard is sadly still expected to be leaving Microsoft. The WSJ is also backing up the story that his departure is a result of the Courier cancellation.

Likewise, Robbie Back, who oversees the Xbox Live and Mobile division, may also be part of the re-organization process, reportedly as a result of Microsoft's continued poor performance against Google and Apple. This is especially evident as we are on the eve of Apple surpassing Microsoft for the #2 spot on the S&P 500, which though not ultimately important, is certainly symbolic and revealing.

This may also just be routine with Microsoft preparing for the emergence of Windows Phone 7 and Project Natal in the fall. Either way, we hope it works out.

Update: Robbie Bach is retiring in the fall; J Allard is leaving; transition plan detailed

Update 2Leadership Profiles: Andy Lees & Don Mattrick. Andy Lees, who will lead the Windows Phone 7/KIN teams, will report directly to Ballmer starting July 1st

Update 3: Ballmer's letter to the employees about the changes (via ZDNet)

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