Nokia Comments on Mobile Device Plans
Nokia took to a blog post today to comment on their mobile device strategy going forward.
For over a decade, Nokia was far and away the largest cell phone OEM in the world. Nokia had plenty of fans and was a common household name. Unfortunately, after Apple and Android’s relentless growth, Nokia was squeezed out of the market it once dominated.
Take a look at Nokia’s personnel numbers over the last several years:
Additionally, here is Nokia’s financial situation:
It’s obvious that the past several years have been rough over at Nokia.
In April of 2014, Nokia sold their Devices & Services business to Microsoft. This left “Nokia” as we know it without an actual hardware group. However, the remains of Nokia did, confusingly enough, release a tablet: the Nokia N1. The N1 is an Android tablet produced by Foxconn. There have also been near constant rumors of Nokia going with Android on phones for years now. The N1 confused the issue, and Microsoft’s Nokia X confused it even further. A little over a month after the N1 was release, the Nokia X was released, by Microsoft. The X is a budget device that runs a heavily skinned, very obscured, and Google Service-less version of Android.
Meanwhile over at Microsoft, the last premium Lumia flagship was released in July of 2014, and we’ve not heard concrete news regarding a successor. Microsoft is currently laying off 7,800 employees with a large percentage of them coming from its phone division. Neither Microsoft’s Lumia line, nor the remains of Nokia seem to be releasing an Android flagship.
So then, what is going on with Nokia and Mobile devices?
Well, according to Nokia themselves:
The right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model. That means identifying a partner that can be responsible for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product.
This is exactly what they did with the N1 tablet.
It sounds as if we may yet see more (non-Microsoft) Nokia devices in the future. They will continue to look for a partner that can do the heavy lifting: manufacturing, sales, marketing and support. Nokia itself says not to expect them back in phone form until Q4 2016, at the earliest. So, if you were hoping for a Nokia Android flagship; it looks like the wait may be a bit longer than we’d like.