Huawei “Open-Minded” but Has No Plans to Buy Nokia
Huawei exec Richard Yu raised some eyebrows (and Nokia’s stock price) Tuesday with his musings about a possible acquisition of Nokia if the Finnish company were amenable to such an idea.
And while Huawei quickly came out to say that Yu was speaking only philosophically and that it had “no plans” for such a move, you can see why the idea stirred some chatter.
Speaking with reporters ahead of the U.K. debut of Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone, the Ascend P6, Yu, chairman of the company’s consumer business group, said Huawei might consider buying Nokia if the situation were right.
“We are considering these sorts of acquisitions; maybe the combination has some synergies, but it depends on the willingness of Nokia,” Yu said, according to the Financial Times. “We are open-minded.”
Nokia later downplayed the significance of the comments, and if the company is considering alternatives to its current strategy, it’s keeping silent about them. If we’re to take CEO Stephen Elop at his word, Nokia isn’t entertaining suitors at this time and is steadfast in its bet on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. As he said during the company’s general meeting earlier this summer, “We’ve made a clear decision to focus on Windows Phone with our Lumia product line. And it is with that that we will compete with competitors like Samsung and Android.”
Nokia’s American depository receipts climbed as much as 12 percent to $4.12 in New York after the Financial Times report, but they slipped back to $3.86 by the close after Bloomberg reported Huawei’s position on a potential deal.
One final point worth noting: Yu, in talking about Nokia, was openly dubious of the company’s bet on Windows Phone, an OS that the Chinese telecom group also uses. He criticized its market share as “very small” and seemed to indicate that if Nokia were to someday be acquired by Huawei, the company’s Windows Phone days would be numbered. “[Windows Phones] are weak but still require a license fee,” Yu said. “That’s not good. Android is free.”