STMicroelectronics Exits Ericsson JV, Nokia Gets Praise for Lumia: Tech Biz Update

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Europe’s biggest semiconductor producer by revenue, STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), intends to leave its cellphone chip joint venture with LM Ericsson Telephone Company (NASDAQ:ERIC) as it suffers from the declining market for less expensive phones. The former reported Monday that it is currently in talks regarding “exit options” for the joint venture as part of a broader strategic plan intended to concentrate the firm on products such as motion sensors and chips for vehicles which it hopes will be able to return it to profitability.

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Improved performance of Nokia Corporation’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia smartphones that run Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone software has prompted Ittai Kidron at Oppenheimer to reiterate a Perform on shares of the former, but cautions investors to “step to the sidelines ahead of what is going to be a challenging and telling first half of 2013.” However, the analyst believes that not only Lumia, but Nokia’s entire line of smartphones are experiencing “decent demand,” maybe producing sales of between 8 or 9 million units in the fourth quarter. Separately, Microsoft likely sold some 4.2 million Windows Phone handsets since October, says TheNextWeb. The data were calculated by the use a ratio of monthly active users of Windows Phone Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) application to total handsets sold.

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