Nokia pulls the plug on the Ozo VR camera, will lay off up to 310 employees
Nokia Technologies has announced that it will be reducing its investments in VR due to "slower-than-expected development of the VR market," and this means putting an end to its Ozo VR camera. While Nokia will fulfill its commitments to customers who have already purchased the camera, the company explains that it will not develop future versions of Ozo.
Nokia revealed the change of plans in a statement yesterday, in which the company also detailed a business restructuring plan that includes laying off up to 310 employees—a significant percentage of Nokia Technologies' 1,090 worker base. These layoffs will primarily happen in the US, UK and Finland, and are part of a shift towards "digital health and brand and technology licensing."
Presently, the Ozo+ camera is still listed as available in Nokia's online store for $25,000 USD.
Nokia focuses on patent, brand and technology licensing and targets faster growth in digital health with sharpened strategy for Nokia Technologies
Increased focus on digital health and brand and technology licensing balanced with optimized investments in virtual reality
Planned changes expected to impact Nokia Technologies employees mainly in Finland, the US and the UK
Nokia's successful patent licensing business is not in scope of planned changes
October 10, 2017
Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced plans to sharpen the focus of Nokia Technologies on digital health, and accelerate growth in that market, while optimizing investments in virtual reality (VR). Nokia Technologies will also focus on growing brand and technology licensing while leaving its successful patent licensing business untouched.
The shift deepens Nokia's commitment to fully leverage its digital health portfolio acquired through the purchase of Withings in 2016. Through a more focused, more agile digital health business, Nokia aims to have larger impact with consumers and the medical community.
In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers.
The potential reductions are expected to affect up to 310 of the roughly 1090 employees in Nokia Technologies, mainly in Finland, the US and the UK. To start the process, Nokia today has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations.
"Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity," said Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies. "While necessary, the changes will also affect our employees, and as a responsible company we are committed to providing the needed support to those affected."