There’s been a lot of “will they or won’t they” lately regarding Nokia and its plans to once again put its name on a mobile phone. Now the Finnish firm has released an official statement to try and clear the matter up just a bit.
Nokia says that the answer to questions about whether or not it’ll return to the mobile phone business is “complicated.” The company explains that because of the deal that saw it sell its Devices and Services division to Microsoft, it can’t introduce any new Nokia-branded phones until Q4 2016. However, Nokia says that it does want to continue to bring its “iconic design capabilities and technology innovation” to mobile in the form of products that people can actually touch.
To re-enter the phone business, Nokia says that it will license its brand to a partner that can manufacture and sell phones as well as provide marketing and customer support. In exchange for agreeing to make and sell Nokia phones, Nokia will work with them on the design and technology of the products. Nokia says that it’s looking for a “world-class partner” who can handle the “heavy lifting” of releasing a new phone.
So yeah, it looks like Nokia is interested in making phones again, but it will need a capable device manufacturer to partner with on the hardware. That’s the same thing that Nokia did with the N1 tablet, which was made by Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn. The N1 is a good-looking tablet, and we could certainly see Nokia and Foxconn come together on a new mobile phone in the future. Such a device is likely a year and a half out, but hey, at least now we know that Nokia is interested.