In a surprising turn of events, rumours have emerged stating that Nokia may be planning on getting back into the smartphone business. While they will likely not be manufactured in-house, we may nonetheless see phones bearing the Nokia name on the market once more…
After Nokia started using Windows Phone for all its smartphones, many predicted that it was a prelude to Microsoft buying the Finnish manufacturer, and so it wasn’t a surprise when it did just that. It also wasn’t a huge surprise when Microsoft began dropping the Nokia name from its new phones.
What is slightly surprising, however, is the news from Recode, which states that Nokia may be planning on getting back into the world of consumer smartphones.
Citing “sources briefed on Nokia’s plans”, Recode states that we could see new Nokia phones as early as next year, and that this move is being pushed by one of the divisions not bought by Microsoft, namely Nokia Technologies.
So, what is Nokia Technologies? Quite simply, that is the arm of the company that deals with patent control, and licensing out their technology for other people to use.
We’ve seen two products come of that so far: Z Launcher, for Android phones like Samsung Galaxy S6, and the China-only Nokia N1 tablet, which was licensed out to another company to manufacture under the Nokia brand.
It seems fairly likely, then, that new phones would follow the same model, being licensed out to another manufacturer to actually make, but carrying the Nokia brand when they hit the market.
That won’t happen this year, however, as Nokia’s contract with Microsoft states they can’t sell phones under the brand until the end of 2015, nor licence the brand out for other phones before Q3 2016.
Still, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Stay tuned for more news!