The deal, which included Nokia's strong patent estate, was for an estimated 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion). Some investors were stunned. But this deal was in the works for more than two years. Contrary to popular belief, Nokia wasn't giving up.
The company was looking to transform itself. And with Nokia stock trading up almost 30% since the announcement, I have to say that it has. Nokia shares closed 3.63% lower on Friday and are down 11.59% year-to-date, including a 5% decline in a five-day span. But things are about to change.
Nokia will launch a new phone Monday in mainland China called the X-phone. This is Nokia's first device powered by Google's (GOOG) Android platform, the world's leading mobile operating system. Management is placing a strong bet in China and hoping that the device will add a boost to revenue.
Given that the Chinese smartphone market accounts for roughly 40% of the global market, management's bet seems well-placed. Nokia's phone business, which has struggled to compete against Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF), has been a relative disappointment.
As it stands, in terms of China sales, Samsung is far and away the leader, with a market share of over 20%. Lenovo (LNVGY) comes in second, with a 13% share. Investors need to look outside of the top 10 to find Nokia. But there are reasons to be optimistic with the X-phone. The device just may become an x-factor in this competitive equation.