Nokia announces more layoffs

Christopher Werth Feb 8, 2012

David Brancaccio: Nokia, the big mobile phone maker, said today it’s laying off 4,000 people around the world, including 1,000 in its home country Finland. What you have to understand is that Nokia is to Finland what General Motors once was to the United States, a big deal on the corporate landscape.

Christopher Werth reports.

Christopher Werth: Nokia is Finland’s most important and famous company. So much so that Nokia has practically become a part of the country’s national identity.

Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö of the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, says the phone maker accounts for a full 1 percent of the Finland’s entire economy. But the company’s fortunes are changing. Globally, sales at Nokia have plunged against Apple’s iPhone. And in Finland, he says people’s attitudes towards the company are changing.

Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö: Nokia okay it’s still the most important company in Finland. But this special role of Nokia, and the feeling the about Nokia, that it’s really something special. That feeling has disappeared.

But Hannu Rauhala, an analyst at Pohjola Bank in Helsinki, says that’s allowed other, smaller tech companies in Finland to come into their own. Take the mobile video game Angry Birds, made by the small Finnish developer Rovio. It’s dubbed the most successful game in history, having been downloaded over 700 million times.

Hannu Rauhala: So the smaller the companies now they have actually some room for growing. And they can be examples that you can develop something and you can be worldwide.

And Rauhala says, it’s these smaller companies Finland hopes will fill the space Nokia is leaving behind.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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