Nokia Technologies is revamping its business strategy and will lay off up to 310 employees as a result of these efforts, in addition to completely halting the development of the OZO VR camera, the Finnish tech giant said on Tuesday. The Espoo, Finland-based company is now set to put a larger focus on its brand and technology licensing, as well as digital health endeavors, though no firm details on its future efforts related to new projects have been provided. In regards to the upcoming layoffs, the firm expects the thereof to affect members of its workforce in its home country and shouldn't impact its operations in the U.S. and U.K., nor will they reflect on its existing practices related to licensing its extensive patent portfolio.
The layoffs themselves are still significant in the sense that they'll see Nokia Technologies reduce its workforce by more than 28 percent, with the company currently employing approximately 1,090 people around the globe. While the Finnish firm remains invested in VR, its stake in this segment is also expected to be "optimized" going forward, with the device maker now apparently seeking to commit fewer resources to developing first-party solutions and instead refocus on patent licensing with the goal of indirectly supporting the growth of the VR industry that it described as "slower than expected," though not all industry trackers would agree with that assessment. Existing OZO VR customers will still be supported by Nokia but no additional revisions of the 360-degree camera hardware are presently planned by the firm. Some of its previously developed technological advancements like OZO Audio will continue being implemented into its future offerings and third-party products, with this particular solution being integrated into the recently released Nokia 8 Android flagship.
The added focus on digital health is meant to be a continuation of Nokia's strategy that led to the purchase of Withings last year, with the brand itself recently being completely absorbed into its corporate family. The company will continue employing that approach in the future with the goal of strengthening its foothold in both the medical community and consumer-oriented health-focused wearables, as well as other related devices, as suggested by its latest statement on the matter. Nokia Technologies will soon start negotiating with employee representatives over upcoming layoffs, having pledged to handle the move in a corporately "responsible" manner.