Former world number one phone maker and ‘90s symbol, Nokia, is getting back to business – just as soon as its contract with Microsoft expires in 2016.
In an interview with Manager Magazin, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri confirmed that the company will return to designing and licensing its own phones. He said, “Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license.”
Nokia employed a similar licensing tactic for the Nokia N1 tablet, which launched last year as an Android-running iPad mini rival.
The Finnish company is currently prohibited from making smartphones due to its deal with Microsoft – which acquired Nokia’s mobile division in 2013 – but that restriction expires next year. We don’t know what to expect from Nokia, but it’ll have to be special to take on Apple’s iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6.
That might not be its aim, though. We heard a few months back that President of Nokia China, Mike Wang, said in an interview that a series of Android phones would be released under the brand next year.
It was also mentioned at the time that Nokia would use its Chinese factories to build the new handsets, while also shifting its global R&D operations to Sichuan. With manufacturing based in China, Nokia may well target the Asian market with some low-end or mid-tier handsets – we’ll have to wait and see.