Nokia to be Back in Action in Phone Business: Report

By CIOReview | Tuesday, April 21, 2015
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FREMONT, CA: Right from the rumour mills, Nokia, a former phone manufacturer, is reportedly all set to do a u-turn and re-enter the phone market. After selling its mobile phone business unit to Microsoft and buying European networking giant Alcatel-Lucent, it’s still unclear how the company would stage a comeback.

Nokia has plans to re-enter the phone market as early as next year, according to two unnamed sources cited by Ina Fried for re/code. Post the deal with Micosoft, the company has released Android tablet called N1 and an Android program called Zlauncher that enhances the Android experience. This is a precursor to what is to be expected from the former mobile phone market leader.

Recently, Nokia while charting out the roadmap with the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent stated that Nokia Technologies would continue to remain a separate entity focused on incubating new technologies and licensing them to business partners through an active licensing program.

The company is speculated to not to enter into the market holistically taking manufacturing and sales on its shoulders but it would sit at the fence and lend its brains to some other company who would be responsible for manufacturing, branding, and sales.

Nokia however has a manufacturing unit under its belt that is unfortunately caught in tax disputes in Chennai, India. The company has not been able to sell this plant to Microsoft or to other potential buyers due to tax issues with the Indian government. Also, Nokia at this point in time cannot go all out and have a phone under its name as it is locked up in agreement with Microsoft according to which the former phone manufacturer – Nokia – cannot enter the phone market until sometime in 2016. To expect Nokia to start phone manufacturing in Chennai post the end of Microsoft deal would be a stab in the dark.

Back in August 2014, Ketan Pratap for NDTV Gadgets, had reported that ‘Nokia is hiring engineers, designers and camera specialists for upcoming devices.’ The company was also reported to have been scouting the talent pool for mobile photography engineer with experience writing camera drivers for Android. Now how many would still contend that Nokia is permanently out of phone business?

Besides the phone business market rumour, the company is also expected to go head-to-head with Ericsson as in the telecom equipment manufacturing market and is also expected to lead open source innovations in the technology world.