It is now official. After some rumors and even a few denials from the company itself, the once dominant phone maker Nokia is indeed making a return to making mobile devices next year -- well, sort of. For now, a Microsoft contract clause is preventing the Finnish company from placing its branding on mobile devices, but by the time 2016 rolls in, that stipulation should expire and will no longer apply.
As reported by Reuters, Rajeev Suri, the chief executive officer of Nokia, had apparently told the German business publication Manager Magazin that the company is set on designing and licensing mobile devices in 2016, and is planning to search for partners. Suri added that Nokia will simply do the designing and then make the branding available for licensing.
Even though Nokia's cell phone division was acquired by Microsoft one year ago, the company has not been exactly absent from the mobile world. As a matter of fact, Nokia had been busy developing various technologies for mobile devices -- working on its Here mapping app (although just recently, it appears that Nokia may be selling it off to interested companies), developing an Android tablet in China, and even releasing its own Android launcher in summer of last year.
Also, the fact that Microsoft is also appearing to be steering away from smartphones (the slow sales of its Lumia line of mobile devices may also have something to do with it) may have paved the way for Nokia to get back to a field it once was good at.
But wait -- it should be noted that the smartphones bearing the Nokia branding launching sometime next year will not actually be manufactured by the company. Not many people may realize that Nokia is just not the global powerhouse it used to be. That is why it is actively looking for partners for licensing deals.
Still, despite being relegated to the bench in recent years, Nokia is still a very popular brand, especially for mobile users based in Europe, and for those old enough to own a Nokia phone (nostalgia sometimes can not be underestimated). Sure, it may not have much of a chance, but it has a chance nonetheless. Nobody expects Nokia to give the Apples and Samsungs a run for their money right away, but designing and licensing for mobile is definitely a good start.
As far technical specifications go, it may be too early to tell which direction Nokia is going, and a lot would depend on which partner it would be collaborating with. As for the operating system, Nokia may have been acquired by Microsoft, but it is likely that it will be doing away with Windows Phone and instead go for Android.
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