Nokia once a time king of the mobile industry, has announced plans to re-enter the smartphone market. Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri made the announcement during a press event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. "There's no timeline, there's no rush. It could happen in 2016, it could happen later."
Nokia was once the biggest-selling mobile phone manufacturer, a title they held from 1998 to 2011 until the company was unable to adequately respond to the pressure of both the iPhone and the Android operating system. That lead to the company partnering with Microsoft to solely produce Windows Phone devices, leaving its in-house Symbian OS behind. That partnership lasted until 2014 when Microsoft purchased Nokia’s mobile division for just over $7 billion.
As per the agreement between the two companies, Nokia was barred from making smartphones for a while. “The soonest that could happen is Q4 2016,” the company stated last Summer. “So it’s safe to say Nokia won’t be back (at least in phone form...) before then.
Suri made it clear that Nokia wants to wait for the right partner rather than rush back into the market. As he has previously said, the company will not make the phones but will license the Nokia brand to a manufacturer. It may prove to be a controlling partner, though. "We want to be in a position to design the devices in question with appropriate control measures in case they don't meet expectations," said Suri. When asked whether Nokia would partner with Foxconn, which also works closely with Apple to manufacture iPhones, he said he did not know yet.
Nokia believes it still has the potential to make an impact on the smartphone world, and will likely aim to do so with "premium" devices. "The recognition of the brand is still very high in all the major markets," said Suri. "We think it's a good business model."
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