Microsoft Corp. was recently in advanced discussions with Nokia Corp. about a purchase of the Finnish company’s device business, according to people familiar with the matter, in a marriage that could have reshaped the mobile-phone industry.

The talks have faltered, they said. One person said talks took place as recently as this month but aren’t likely to be revived.

The two sides made significant progress on a plan that would stitch the U.S. software giant with a mobile-phone pioneer. Both companies have struggled of late, as each has tried to adapt to a world in which consumers prefer smartphones built by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

I doubt this merger would have any significant impact on Apple or Samsung. It may help Nokia and Microsoft shake things up, but there’s already a lot at stake in the mobile market, so if they aren’t working closely already there’s little chance they ever will.