By Gustav Sandstrom
Nokia Corp. (NOK) Thursday said it has agreed to sell its remaining share of software development kit Qt to IT firm Digia Oyj (DIG1V.HE) for an undisclosed sum, as the ailing Finnish handset maker continues to divest assets in a bid to return to profitablity.
Following its decision to focus on smartphones based on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone software and more basic handsets built around its own Series 40 platform, Nokia will no longer use Qt as a development framework for its products, said company spokesman Mark Durrant.
The Qt toolkit, which enables software developers to build programs such as smartphone apps across various technical platforms, was originally developed by Norwegian IT firm Trolltech, which Nokia bought in 2008 for around $150 million. According to Digia, the programming kit has been used by over 450,000 developers across 70 industries.
Once the world's largest handset maker, Nokia has long been losing market share as consumers have abandoned its old Symbian smartphones for newer devices such as Apple's Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and handsets based on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) open-source Android platform.
To raise cash, the company earlier this summer sold most of its luxury handset business Vertu to Swedish private equity firm EQT for an undisclosed sum. It has also announced massive restructuring plans including 10,000 new job cuts to trim costs, and said it hopes to make NSN, its telecom gear joint venture with Siemens AG (SI), more independent.
Finland-based Digia, which acquired the Qt commercial licensing and services business from Nokia in March last year, said it expects by the third quarter to take over the remaining business, including technologies, copyright and trademarks as well as up to 125 employees in Norway, Germany, Finland and the U.S.
Digia plans to make Qt available for mobile operating systems including Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android, Apple's iOS and Microsoft's Windows 8, it said Thursday, adding that it expects the Qt business to grow profitably in the coming years.
Write to Gustav Sandstrom at email@example.com
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