Microsoft Must Buy Nokia 'Or Cede Being a Player'

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q1 2013 or here for the biggest M&A during that time in the service provider-BSS/OSS spaces.**

A Yankee Group analyst says Microsoft should acquire Nokia.

On the heels of news that the Windows giant and the ailing phone maker recently held advanced acquisition talks, which fell apart, Yankee Group's Carl Howe said the strategy would have been positive.

“Acquiring Nokia’s handset business is one of the few moves that will make Windows Phone competitive in the smartphone market," said Howe, vice president of research for Yankee Group, commenting specifically on a Wall Street Journal article. "With Android and Apple capturing more than three-quarters of smartphone shipments today, consumer remain reluctant to experiment a different smartphone platform, especially one where no one company takes full responsibility for the consumer experience."

Further, Howe said, there's a threat from Canada.

"With BlackBerry on the rebound, Microsoft must deliver a fully integrated smartphone experience to compete or cede being a player in the U.S. and European smartphone markets," said Howe.

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