News scan: Microsoft now owns Nokia's phone business; Small cell deployments disappoint

>> It's official: Microsoft now owns Nokia's handset business

Nokia made it official on Friday. Microsoft is now the proud owner of the Finnish firm's mobile devices and services business for the price of a mere €5.4 billion, or $7.5 billion, although that number could be adjusted based on the closing balance sheet. Nokia is offering its employees in Chennai, India, and Masan, South Korea, financial assistance to find another job. No word on whether the business will be renamed Microsoft Mobile. Read more

[More on Microsoft-Nokia: Will Nokia become Microsoft Mobile? | Can Microsoft's new captain right the mobile ship?]

>> Small cell deployments disappoint

Contrary to industry expectations, small cell deployments in 2013 were modest, says Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research. Small cell revenue totaled $771 million in 2013, compared with the $24 billion 2G/3G radio access network market, Téral notes. However, the small cell market is forecast by Infonetics to recover, increasing 65 percent this year. Read more

[More on small cells: Enterprises to make up 97% of the femtocell market by 2019, predicts ABI | Smartphones are expected to push small cell backhaul revenues past $500 million by 2017, says Dell'Oro]

>> Sensor hub shipments to surge 154% this year

Shipments of sensor hubs, which enable mobile devices to run longer on a single battery charge by offloading tasks from app processors, are forecast by IHS Technology to reach 658.4 million units this year, up 154 percent over last year's shipments. "A sensor hub is a low-power processor that can be used to perform calculations on data from sensors, the hub thereby saving power on a device by off-loading such tasks from the power-intensive application processor," explains Marwan Boustany, senior analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS. Sensor hub shipments are forecast to reach 1.3 billion units by 2017. Read more

[More on sensors: Location-based smartphone sensor fusion presents 'huge potential' for mobile commerce, says ABI | Spending on smart building tech to reach $21.9 billion in 2018, says IDC]

>> Consumers suffer from cross-channel message fatigue

Consumers are suffering from a chronic condition that should be of concern to mobile marketers--cross-channel message fatigue. That was the message of Steve Dille, senior vice president of marketing at Message Systems, during a Mobile Marketer webinar. "You have people doing messaging in silos and then they are all trying to work on multiple channels at the same time. It is really creating an explosion of messaging which is leading to problems of customer dissatisfaction," says Dille. Read more

[More on mobile messaging: Facebook Messenger users top 200M, says Zuckerberg | Business pros turn to text messaging as an effective tool]

>> Former head of Tumblr takes over reigns at mobile news service Circa

John Maloney, the former president of Tumblr, has taken over the reins at mobile news service Circa, Re/code reports. Maloney took a couple of years off after leading Tumblr for four years. That rest might come in handy as he tries to build Circa in a market with a number of strong competitors, such as the New York Times, Yahoo and startup Inside--all of which are promoting news services designed specifically for the mobile device, according to Re/code. Read more

[More on Tumblr: Facebook Home adds Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr support | Yahoo buys Tumblr for $1.1 billion in bid for social media relevance]