For years Nokia was one of the largest cell phone manufacturers in the world. As Smartphones were on the rise Nokia saw their profit and market share lagging behind their competitors and tried to catch up. While many of its attempts yielded some success (such as the long usage of Qt by many companies) it was meeting a lot of failure on the mobile market. As it has decided to get into bed with Microsoft it has been slowly selling off old assets that no longer tend to be valid with the current direction of the company.
So with all of that being said, first up on today’s announcements from Nokia is that they have sold off the rest of Qt Projects to Digia. Digia had already purchased the Qt Commercial side from Nokia last year and this year has picked up the rest of it. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for anyone who has followed Nokia as they are increasingly putting all of their eggs in the Microsoft basket. Qt was the development platform that was used primarily on Symbian and the underused (though quite beautiful looking) Meego. This will open the doors to quite a few developers who may have fallen out of mainstream mobile development to soon dip their toes back into the water and make a splash with some great new applications based on this old (though not outdated) architecture.
While the financial details are left quiet the current staff of 125 that are still working on the project will all appear to be transitioning from Nokia to Digia. Digia plans on continuing Qt development and expand it so that it will be available on iOS, Windows 8 and Android devices. The release itself doesn’t specify Windows 8 mobile so that most likely means that they plan on porting the Qt code to all of Windows 8 (Desktops/tablets/etc.) By picking up the rest of the team Digia will now fully control both the development and licensing aspects of the software framework. The framework will have a version 5.0 release co-branded later this month and at that point the rights will be finishing migrating to Digia and a new look forward on the future of Qt.
Speaking of selling assets it looks as if Nokia is selling more than 500 patents to Vringo for another undisclosed sum. The 500 patents included cover the range of 31 patent families and include standards which are essential for a full range of core communications protocols for backbone tech, communication management, signal transmission, and cellular infrastructure. These patent families cover areas of: 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 4G, GSM, WCDMA, T63, T64, DECT, IETF, LTE, SAE, and OMA. Vringo is paying for all of the patents directly in cash and ongoing payments based on revenue generated by the sale of the patent portfolio. One has to wonder how much Nokia was able to secure of future uses of the patents. Vringo is the developer of Facetones and owns many mobile related products and properties. It’ll be interesting to see what step Vringo plans on taking with these specific patent purchases.
Related Link: Digia