Nokia continues its non-core assets selloff: Qt to Digia, patents to Vringo

Nokia’s turn-around seems more assured today as the company sheds more non-essential assets in its quest to return to the black.

The Finnish monster has sold off its Qt development branch to Digia, who promises to keep the project alive and port it to Android and iOS. QT is a popular cross-platform development framework used to build highly compatible apps. Qt (pronounced “cute”) has been an important facilitator for mobile developers bringing apps to legacy Symbian devices, but as that market dwindles and Nokia focuses on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, the need for Qt has diminished.

Digia posted an encouraging message on its site today:

We believe that Qt is by far the greatest development framework out there, with an enormous potential to dominate the software development world with solid, forward-looking and easy-to-use libraries and tools on all major platforms. We plan to continue the work originally set forth by Trolltech over 15 years ago to develop a framework that allows to write code once and deploy it everywhere – by adding support to Android, iOS and extending support for embedded platforms, we have a possibility to target hundreds of millions of new products. We vow to carry on improving Qt so that both our customers and the open-source users can rely on Digia’s continued investment to provide a development framework that will make their projects successful.

All the best to them and their new quest. Though we don’t know exactly the sale terms, Qt was apparently sold for significantly less than its $150 million purchase price.

Nokia has also sold off “over 500” patents to Vringo, which encompass some essential to mobile networks. According to the press release,

The portfolio encompasses a broad range of technologies relating to cellular infrastructure, including communication management, data and signal transmission, mobility management, radio resources management and services.

Thirty one of the 124 patent families acquired have been declared essential by Nokia to wireless communications standards. Standards represented in the portfolio are commonly known as 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G and related technologies and include GSM, WCDMA, T63, T64, DECT, IETF, LTE, SAE, and OMA.

Hopefully Nokia can use this money to its advantage; we’re looking forward to the company’s new consumer-facing products like their first Windows Phone 8 devices.

Source: Digia, Vringo