Publish by Paisaone
Posted on 10th June 2016
Nokia is coming back to phones and tablets
We love stories with happy endings, so we’re quite excited by the news that Nokia is back: despite Microsoft’s best efforts to kill off the much-loved phone brand, Nokia’s back in the phone business and making interesting moves in wearables, too. For those of us whose formative phones were Finnish through and through, it’s nice to see Nokia back in action – but don’t expect it to regain its crown as the world’s favorite phone firm.
Before we look at what Nokia’s doing now, a quick bit of history: once upon a time Nokia was the king of phones both smart and not so smart, and its best phones were as desirable as today’s Samsungs. But like many firms, Nokia suffered when the iPhone launched. Its insistence on sticking with its favored Symbian operating system, instead of embracing Android, may well have been a massive mistake.
Selling the phone business to Microsoft certainly was: rather than lift Nokia sales into orbit, Microsoft drove them even deeper into a ditch, gave them a good kicking and then set them on fire. In the past year, Microsoft-made Lumia phones saw sales drop by a massive 73 percent.
The news that Microsoft is offloading the Nokia name again isn’t entirely great, however, because it only applies to the feature phone business – so we’re talking Nokia Ashas and Nokia Xes, not Lumias. Microsoft says it’ll keep going with the Lumia brand, while its feature phone portfolio is going to a subsidiary of iPhone and Xbox assembler Foxconn.
Nokia gets its name back and the rights to use its feature phone software and services, and it plans to licence those assets to a new firm called HMD Global, who will use the Nokia brand on a range of Android phones and tablets. Interestingly, HMD also has a relationship with Foxconn. Remember the Nokia N1 tablet? That was a Nokia/HMD/Foxconn partnership, which bodes well for the future.
What that means in practice is that Nokia is back in the game. It’ll be making new feature phones and lending its expertise and design smarts – or at least, what remains after the Microsoft partnership. Nokia has lost a lot of staff in recent years – to a new range of Android devices. And if that wasn’t interesting enough, it’s getting into wearables, too. Could an Android Wear watch be on the horizon?