The new Microsoft layoff wave will axe thousands of employees from Nokia’s old handset unit and will close down the once crucially important Oulu RD center that used to be the source of global phone innovation, from internal antennas to 3G tech. Many now view the handset industry as an unprofitable sunset business that has little relevance outside Apple and Samsung. What does it matter if Nokia is now a pure infrastructure company or if BlackBerry stops manufacturing handsets? In reality, there are strong reasons to hold onto a loss-making, shrinking, marginal consumer electronics business. That’s because even a sinking platform can be a launchpad for lucrative new businesses while creating a consumer electronics business out of nothing is fiendishly difficult.