Microsoft's Gutting of Its Mobile Business Will Affect 1,850 More Jobs

Microsoft announced this month it is selling part of its mobile business.

— -- Microsoft announced today it is slashing 1,850 jobs in its mobile division as the company seeks to streamline operations. It announced earlier this month that it was selling the Nokia brand.

As many as 1,350 of the jobs being cut are in Microsoft's mobile division in Finland, according to a statement from the company. An additional 500 positions are expected to be cut globally.

"We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. "We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms."

Microsoft closed its more than $7 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile company Nokia in 2014 and has since produced low-end handsets geared toward emerging markets. However, the deal never seemed to provide the much-needed fuel for Microsoft to catch market Apple and Google, who both lead the market with their iOS and Android devices.

Microsoft announced earlier this month that it is selling a part of its phone business, which includes licensing of the Nokia brand, for $350 million, positioning the Finnish mobile company for a potential comeback.

The sale includes Microsoft's "entry-level feature phone assets," including brands, software and services, customer contracts and supply agreements to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, and HMD Global, a company based in Finland, according to an announcement on the company's website.

"Feature phones" are basic phones that focus on text and voice calling as opposed to smartphones that have expanded capabilities.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016 and will include the transfer of as many as 4,500 employees to both companies, the announcement said.

It's been widely speculated Microsoft could build on the success of its convertible Surface tablets and leverage that product line to create a high-end Surface phone in the next year.