ADOTAS – Maybe they can go out for drinks and grousing with the AOL people laid off during the Huffington Post integration. Six thousand Nokia research and development people are likely to get the sack when the Finnish smartphone-maker forgoes its long-running and long-despised Symbian mobile operating system for the cool breeze known as Windows Phone 7.
That figure, cited by Antti Rinne of private sector office-worker union Pro (yes, these things exist in Europe), is about 38% of the global devices R&D workforce of 16,134 (at the end of 2010). After the switch to WP7, there’s not going to be a whole lot of work at Nokia for Symbian specialists, though I guess retraining them isn’t an option. (Welcome to the American way, Finns — Training is something you get on your own time with your own dime!)
The official layoff numbers will reportedly be announced by Nokia at the end of the month. In 2010, Nokia’s device R&D budget was $4.3 billion, which Bloomberg notes is more than double Apple’s entire 2010 R&D budget ($1.78 billion).
While the first WP7 Nokia smartphone is in development and expected to ship in early 2012, today Nokia actually launched an updated version of the Symbian mobile OS along with two new handsets.