RANCHO PALOS VERDES, California, June 1, 2011 (AFP) - Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop on Wednesday dismissed as "baseless" a report that Microsoft had agreed to purchase the Finnish company's mobile business.
"There are absolutely no discussions," Elop said at the D9 technology conference here hosted by All Things Digital. "The rumors are baseless."
The website Boy Genius, or BGR.com, reported on Wednesday that according to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft has struck a deal to buy Nokia's mobile phone business for $19 billion.
Nokia hired Elop, a former Microsoft executive, to be its chief executive in September and in February the Finnish company announced that it was abandoning its smartphone platform to adopt Microsoft's mobile operating system.
Elop said the first Nokia smartphone using the Windows Phone 7 software would be released in the fourth quarter of the year.
He briefly took a prototype out of his pocket but quickly put it back without providing so much as a glimpse of the screen.