Nokia to lay off up to 330 R&D staffers

The move, which would affect workers at sites in Finland and Denmark, comes as the company shows signs of sputtering in the smartphone stakes.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

Nokia said Friday that a streamlining effort could result in the elimination of as many as 330 positions from its research and development staff, or about 2 percent of its global R&D workforce.

Nokia R&D
Microelectronics research at Nokia. NOkia

The changes will likely hit up to 230 workers in the company's Oulu site in Finland and roughly 100 at its Copenhagen site. Nokia said it plans to offer voluntary severance packages to the affected workers and to find alternative jobs for as many people as possible.

The company currently employs more than 17,000 workers in its R&D business. It has 2,000 employees at the Oulu facility and 1,000 in Copenhagen.

Though Nokia still holds the top spot in the smartphone arena, its dominance has been eroded by competition from the likes of Apple and Research In Motion. A recent In-Stat report found that Nokia's share of the smartphone market had dropped to 35 percent in this year's second quarter compared with 50 percent in the prior year's quarter.

Another report from Strategy Analytics revealed that Apple had surpassed Nokia in cell phone profits during the third quarter, the first time that Nokia had fallen to second place.

Nokia's third-quarter results showed a net loss of $832 million, while sales dropped around 20 percent. Nokia Siemens, the network equipment maker run by Nokia and Siemens, has also been a drag on its owners, recently announcing its own layoffs and cost cuts as a result of its weak performance.