For years in Finland, Nokia was justifiably a source of national pride: the equivalent of Rolls-Royce or Cadbury's (before Kraft) in the UK, it was seen as a plucky challenger to the might of American technology manufacturing. Even after smartphones changed everything, your average Finn would point out that Nokia was still the biggest mobile manufacturer in the world until 2012, when Samsung overtook it.
When Nokia leaped off its burning platform and submitted to acquisition by Microsoft last year, the general consensus wasn't good. And it sounds like the company's greatest fears are about to come to pass: Finnish newspaper Helsignin Sanomat reported this morning that Micosoft is planning to close Nokia's research and development unit in Oulu, to the north of the country, cutting over a fifth of Nokia's Finnish workforce, slashing the 4,700-strong team by 1,000.
Total job cuts at Microsoft's new cellphone unit will top 5,800, the biggest round of redundancies in the American company's history.
Back in April, Microsoft announced plans to rename the company 'Microsoft Mobile', which suggests the US company isn't particularly interested in preserving Nokia's Finnish heritage. It's a sad state of affairs for a once-proud company - but serves as a warning to rivals about what happens if you fail to keep up with the rest of the market. Which, particularly in light of Apple and IBM's tie-up, announced today, should strike fear into the heart of not only the likes of BlackBerry, but even Microsoft itself.