Nokia is prepping to return to the smartphone game. The Finnish technology company — the part of it that wasn’t sold to Microsoft in a multimillion dollar deal which completed last year, will be partnering with third parties and provide them with the design of the phone, which they will then manufacture and sell, CEO Rajeev Suri said today.
Ever since Microsoft bought Nokia’s services and devices divisions, there has been a number of talk points where it was believed that the Finnish giant will reboot its effort in smartphone manufacturing business. But until now Nokia kept denying any such possibility, and also it was contractually obligated from manufacturing or using its brand name on any phone until the end of 2016.
But then Nokia partnered with Foxconn last year to sell a tablet called the N1, which runs Android, giving slightest of indication of its return to the game. Incidentally. Nokia’s current statement comes two months after technology outlet Re/Code reported the same — which Nokia had denied at the time.
In a statement to Reuters, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri noted today that his company will be licensing and designing phones and getting them manufactured and sold through other third-party channels.
“We will look for suitable partners … Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license.”
Coincidentally, the news of Nokia’s return to smartphone business arrives a day after former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop left Microsoft. We wonder where Nokia would be today if it had never come across Stephen Elop. Probably in a much better place.