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October 10, 2017

Nokia Cuts 28% of Workforce (310 employees) and Blames it on Virtual Reality (VR)

Mark Metry Founder VU Dream
Mark Metry, Founder of VU Dream

Over two years ago Nokia announced development on a new virtual reality camera called Ozo

Nokia Ozo
Nokia’s target market was big Hollywood studios with its extensive list of features including, eight lenses for full 360-degree capture, and eight integrated microphones for spatial audio recording.
Based on the description, Nokia’s Ozo seems like quite the worthy camera for filmmakers.
Want it? Cough up $25,000 please.
It was initially priced at $60,000 but was lowered several times over the course of product release.
Nokia published a press release this morning stating:
In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customersThe potential reductions are expected to affect up to 310 of the roughly 1090 employees in Nokia Technologies, mainly in Finland, the US and the UK. To start the process, Nokia today has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations.
Global VR Industry Revenue
Really Nokia? We all run into business troubles and it’s quite the issue when you fire 28% of your employees but blaming it on the supposed “slow growing” VR industry is a little beneath you.
Total Revenues 2017
“Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity,”
– Gregory Lee, President of Nokia Technologies
Personally, to me, this sounds a little fishy. I believe Nokia decided that Ozo wasn’t doing too well in the market. Other competitors like Google and Samsung produce much better products than Nokia.
Nokia pulled a reverse on us. Which is fine, but blaming it on virtual reality and saying the industry isn’t growing too fast is a cheap excuse.
According to Variety Magazine “Four years ago Finland-based Nokia sold its smartphone biz to Microsoft. The deal closed in 2014 and Microsoft subsequently made a series of significant layoffs in the division.”
Nokia strikes again! Condolences to the people who were laid off.


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