Nokia Will Be Back Making Smartphones But It’s Complicated

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Nokia was a phone brand that we all loved and continue to love. It may have exited the phone business after the unceremonious acquisition of its devices division by Microsoft but rumours of its return to the mobile world will simply never die down. We’ve written several times of reported plans by the Finnish company to make a comeback once it’s contractual obligations to stay away from the mobile market are lifted next year (2016). The company, in a blog post meant to clear the air, has detailed the catch 22 situation it is in as it tries to make a comeback.

Yes Nokia branded smartphones will live to see another day but as we had speculated earlier on, they may not be necessarily made by the same hands in Finland that were behind the Nokias we all loved throughout the 90s and the 2000s. As per its contractual agreements with Microsoft, Nokia can only get back to making phones in the last quarter of 2016. Nokia is on the hunt for a partner who can help it make its devices then. Just like it did with the N1 tablet.

Here’s part of the statement from Nokia:

The Nokia that exists today remains focused on the connected world, through mobile network infrastructure, location & mapping services, and technology development & licensing. We also aim to continue bringing our iconic design capabilities and technology innovation to the mobile space, and in the form of amazing products people can someday hold in their hands. However, we’ll do it in a completely different way from before.

The right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model. That means identifying a partner that can be responsible for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product.

If and when we find a world-class partner who can take on those responsibilities, we would work closely with them to guide the design and technology differentiation, as we did with the Nokia N1 Android tablet. That’s the only way the bar would be met for a mobile device we’d be proud to have bear the Nokia brand, and that people will love to buy.

To summarize, we will look for the right partner who can take on the heavy lifting and work closely with us to deliver a great product.

This comes after the company tried without much success (back in April) to dispute claims that it is planning a comeback to the mobile market.

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