Nokia, the world's largest phone manufacturer, is planning to cut about 800 jobs at home, in Finland, starting in January. Affected employees will be notified sometime in the next few days.
According to a statement given to Reuters, Nokia said it concluded negotiations with employee representatives on the latest planned reductions. The company will offer severance packages worth five to 15 months of regular salary but hopes some of the employees affected will be relocated elsewhere in the company.
The news follows soon after Nokia announced 1,800 job cuts worldwide in October 2010, most of which were largely related to Symbian. It appears that the 800 number is part of the bigger employee reduction announced two moths ago, and thus is not cumulative. The company has been cutting jobs left and right for almost two years now.
"The cuts are a part of the plan to increase our competitiveness – we are simplifying our product creation, expanding the use of common tools and streamlining software development, among other things," a Nokia spokesperson said in a statement. "According to the labor legislation in Finland, we started the negotiations about the planned reductions in October with personnel representatives, and now those negotiations have been concluded – that is the news item in this case. The max impact in Finland is 800 (as opposed to the 850 we originally announced), and we are offering people affected voluntary severance packages and will try to redeploy people into other positions as much as possible. We will only know how many reductions there will be after the process has been completed, and this takes some time. So the actual layoffs is likely to be much smaller than the 800, as we believe many people will choose the voluntary package and we also hope to be able to find new positions to a part of the affected group."
To make matters worse for the company, Nokia is also delaying yet another smartphone. This time, it's the Symbian-based E7 that is being postponed until early next year. "To ensure the best possible user experience on the E7 we have decided to begin shipping in early 2011," a Nokia spokesperson said in a statement.
The E7 is similar to the Nokia N8, but features a full slideout keyboard and is intended to appeal to earlier users of Nokia's Communicator line and Qwerty-keyboard phones. It was introduced at the Nokia World trade show on September 14 at a list price of €495 ($663) before taxes and operator subsidies.