So the news has emerged that Finland's favourite maker of mobile trinkets Nokia has decided to trim its workforce by 3,500, primarily through the closing of a manufacturing plant in Cluj, Romania.
And while the tech press has done its usual “the end is nigh” routine on the back of the news, which is fair enough given the 2011 Nokia has had so far, in this case we'd be tempted to hold back on the doom and gloom.
First the facts. Nokia shed a whole whack of R&D types earlier in the year on the back of the decision to stop developing MeeGo and put a closing time on Symbian's ever-slower dance around the mobile marketplace.
As a result (it says), it's now taking further steps to “adjust its manufacturing capacity and renew its manufacturing operations to better serve its global network of customers, partners and suppliers”.
These include closing the Romanian plant in favour of its high-volume Asian facilities – along with reviewing the future of a further three plants – and implementing moves set up by its Location & Commerce unit, which has been set up to examine and streamline other areas of the business.
The impact of these moves in terms of staff cuts will be 2,200 and 1,300 respectively, making up 3,500 in total.
But think about it – it's a simple fact that Nokia is selling fewer phones than before, so needs to cut both manufacturing costs and volumes. In addition, the decision to hand over responsibility of Symbian to an external firm (Accenture) doesn't just affect R&D staff, and it's fair to say the move has left some deadwood in other areas that it makes no sense keeping on.
In the end, there's no upside to having to cut 3,500 staff, but in the context of Nokia's current position it's no train smash either.