Microsoft Buying Nokia? I’ll get some popcorn
It’s been a while. Hasn’t it?
I was talking to my Marketing Management professor about this topic. I realized how about a year ago I would’ve had such a different point of view for this news than the one I have today. Mostly because I have leaned more towards business, and I take it much more into account than I used to think about some time ago, which were mostly tech related reasons.
Anyhow, it’s always fun to read the great variety of opinions on the net regarding stories like this one. I was impressed on how Forbes undermined the idea of it, not that I’m saying I’m super surprised, but I kinda am. In general, I’ve read some positive criticism and analysis so far.
My personal opinion? I think it is a great opportunity for Microsoft to gain more decision power on the handsets. After all, the biggest players in the market (i.e. Google w/ Android and Apple w/ iOS), which are companies that create the OS for the phones, have got some control over the manufacturing process (Apple creates both the software and the hardware. Google does the same with Android plus the acquisition of Motorla Mobility some time ago).
It’s like a neat way for Microsoft to hop on the manufacturing process by gaining control over the manufacturing process. After all, they just sell the OS (I heard they also sell tablets. I’m not sure yet #sarcasm). What if they want to personalize functionality? As I mentioned above, the other guys are owning manufacturers already.
I look at it as a neat investment that will be useful to fight the war with better weapons: you get more control over the manufacturing process, then you can start winning. But it’s all fun and games until you realize that, as any investment, it can go downhill.
But it’s fine. After all, Nokia still has a big role in 2G networks with the Asha phone that sells like hotcakes in developing countries. On the other hand, albeit it’s lost an important chunk of market share in some Asian countries, just recently, Nokia became the most popular brand in China. So that might serve as a strong foundation, wouldn’t it?.
And there is the foreign cash dilemma. What do you do with all the money you got overseas? What if most of the cash you got was overseas? Well, that’s one “issue” Microsoft has (not that they got so much cash, but that their cash is not in the U.S.). $51 billion out of its $57 billion in cash is stranded. Holy smokes, Batman! looks like they’ve got an issue there for sure, and I think it’s a great idea to invest it somewhere, especially if you can afford it. And no, I don’t think they will ever think in getting that money into the U.S. You know, because keeping the money overseas is much better than paying taxes to get it in here.