Nokia to cut 4,000 jobs, move manufacturing to Asia

Nokia is cutting 4,000 jobs and will end its manufacturing in Hungary, Mexico and its home nation of Finland as it moves its phone making to Asia, the company announced Wednesday.

The Salo, Finland, factory, which is Nokia's oldest manufacturing plant, along with the affected facilities in Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico, won't be shut down entirely, Nokia said.

Instead, the "three factories are planned to focus on smartphone customization, serving customers mainly in Europe and the Americas," Nokia said in a statement. "Device assembly is expected to be transferred to Nokia factories in Asia, where the majority of component suppliers are based."

Many of Nokia's competitors, such as Apple, HTC and Samsung, have the majority of their manufacturing in Asia and the region is also where the company's largest customer base is located.

"Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market," said Niklas Savander, Nokia's executive vice president of markets. "By working more closely with our suppliers, we believe that we will be able to introduce innovations into the market more quickly and ultimately be more competitive."

The job cuts are the latest for Nokia, which has had about 10,500 layoffs since the company decided to move its phones over to Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system and away from the Nokia-built Symbian software which at one time was the world's most popular smartphone operating system.

Phones running Google's Android operating system have eaten into Nokia's once-dominant position in smartphones, and along with the signing of Nokia's multibillion-dollar deal with Microsoft, Nokia has been undergoing a review of its operations since September that aims to return the company to the competitiveness it once had.

Nokia's first Windows Phone handsets were introduced to consumers in the last quarter of 2011 and so far, the company has sold more than 1 million of the new smartphones worldwide. The Finnish company also reported a $1.38 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2011.


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