Vertu to Close Up Shop
Vertu is through. The company plans to shutter its doors and jettison some 200 employees, according to the Financial Times. Vertu started out as the luxury arm of Nokia. It took Nokia handsets and dressed them up in fine materials, such as precious metals, leather, and jewels. Nokia sold the outfit in 2012 and it has bounced between a number of owners since. Vertu was most recently purchased by Turkish businessman Murat Hakan Uzan. Vertu has about $157 million in debt, though it recently signed a deal with Chinese phone maker (and Alcatel parent) TCL. The Financial Times did not say when Vertu might permanently close up shop. Vertu did not comment on the Financial Times' story.
TCL Teases Its Next BlackBerry Phone
TCL today offered a sneak peak of a new BlackBerry smartphone in a short video. TCL is the parent company behind Alcatel and recently struck an agreement to design and manufacture smartphone hardware for BlackBerry.
T-Mobile Outs Windows 10 VR Phone From Alcatel
T-Mobile today listed the "Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 VR" on its web site. The unique version of the Idol 4S not only runs Windows 10, but sports many of the upgrades available in the related BlackBerry DTEK60, such as the high-end Snapdragon 820 processor, 21-megapixel camera, and USB Type-C connector, none of which are in the standard Idol 4S.
Microsoft Prepared to Cut More Jobs
Microsoft is planning to announce a new round of layoffs as early as today, reports the New York Times. Many of the cuts will target employees in Microsoft's hardware group, such as the smartphone unit it bought from Nokia in 2014.
Nokia to Buy Alcatel-Lucent, Mulling Options for HERE Maps
Nokia today said it has agreed to acquire Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion. The combined companies would be a giant in the telecom equipment space with more than 100,000 employees.