After Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) sold their collapsing mobile business to Microsoft last year in a deal worth around $7.5 billion dollars, the company is now considering re-entering the mobile phone business. While it was once a leader in the cell phone market, Nokia experienced significant losses with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android.
When asked directly about whether Nokia had any plans on re-entering the mobile phone market, company spokesman Robert Morlino responded, “It’s complicated.” Morlino continued, “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.”
For Nokia it is essential they find a “world-class partner” who can assist in designing and overseeing technology differentiation for a new Smartphone. When the company launched the Nokia N1 Android tablet, they did so by partnering with an original equipment manufacturer for manufacturing, distribution, and sales.
Morlino stated that just like with the Nokia N1 Android tablet, so too a partnership is “the only way the bar would be met for a mobile device we’d be proud to have bear the Nokia brand, and that people will love to buy.”
Statements by both Nokia chief executive Rajeev Suri and Nokia Technologies president Ramzi Haidamus make it clear that the company has every intention of re-entering the mobile phone business and that the only roadblock to entry is finding a suitable partner that can help reignite the Nokia brand.
However, per their agreement with Microsoft, Nokia would only be able to launch their new device in the fourth quarter of 2016. Therefore, it will still be over a year before Nokia introduces any new phone to the market.
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