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Nokia to sell security hardware unit

Cell phone maker also plans to quit making software for business customers. Moves will enable it to concentrate on "the renewal of its business mobility strategy."

Nokia, the No. 1 cell phone maker in the world, is close to selling its computer security hardware unit, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The company has been in talks to sell the business to a financial investor, but Nokia did not provide its name.

Nokia HQ
Nokia's head office, in Espoo, Finland. Nokia

The company also intends to quit making software for business customers. In a statement Monday, the cell phone maker said that it would no longer develop or market its own "behind-the-firewall business mobility solutions." Instead, the company plans to use outside providers such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco. The company will "redirect the freed-up resources to a service that pushes e-mail to consumers' cell phones," the Journal story said (subscription required).

"We have very strong relationships with industry leading enterprise technology partners such as Cisco and Microsoft, as well as a broad range of operator and retail channel partners," Niklas Savander, executive vice president of services and software at Nokia, said in a statement. "Together with them, we will use our expertise in devices, as well as the combined channel footprint and customer base, to deliver a range of unbeatable end-to-end offerings for business."

The moves will enable Nokia to concentrate on what it calls "the renewal of its business mobility strategy." Savander, in an interview with Reuters on Monday, said: "We believe that with a narrower agenda we can make a bigger impact."

Earlier this month, the company announced plans to expand the number of devices that would be able to access Microsoft corporate e-mail--a move that appeared to be aimed squarely at rival smartphone maker Research In Motion. And on Sunday, the JQuery project said that Nokia is adopting the JQuery JavaScript library as part of its application development platform.