Nokia sells off Messaging service as Finns continue to slim

Nokia has scythed off another part of its business, selling its operator-branded messaging service – which provides email, IM and social networking systems to carriers including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile USA – to Synchronica, a mobile messaging specialist based in the UK. The deal will see Nokia hand over multiple contracts for the white label service, along with the Nokia Messaging source code for clients and servers.

Currently around 6m users in North America are believed to rely on Nokia Messaging, and moving forward Synchronica will continue to develop the software and services. Nokia has agreed to continue loading it onto its Series 40 handsets, too, so this seems more like the Finns farming out responsibility for the service rather than divorcing themselves from it altogether.

Nokia Messaging allows users to access their MSN Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Gmail and multiple other portal/ISP email services, along with Google Talk, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger and AOL IM accounts, from a single app. As part of the transition, 250 Nokia employees will shift over to Synchronica.

Nokia took a similar step earlier this year, when it handed over Symbian to Accenture. The company's focus is now on Windows Phone, with several new 7.1 Mango handsets expected to launch in Q4 2011.