Nokia may be gearing up to make a return to the smartphone market when its agreement with Microsoft comes to an end in 2016. The Finnish company is currently prevented from selling any smartphone under the Nokia brand as part of the terms of the sale of its devices division to Redmond.
Re/code quotes two sources on Nokia’s plans to rejoin the smartphone market, which is among several other ambitious technology projects. The company is also reportedly looking into virtual reality, although that would be expected considering that every other device manufacturer has been dipping their toes into VR headsets.
News of Nokia’s return doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The company has already designed and licensed an Android-based tablet, the Nokia N1, for sale in China. It has also designed an Android programme called Zlauncher, which tries to make launching apps more convenient and efficient. Nokia is expected to repeat this strategy for its return to the smartphone market as its major manufacturing plants were also sold to Microsoft and rebuilding the supply chain could be an expensive prospect.
Nokia has been making headlines lately, after reports that it was exploring the possibility of selling its HERE maps division; as well as the recent merger with French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent. Interestingly, Alcatel-Lucent is also a company that licenses its brand to a Chinese mobile device manufacturer.
What the new Nokia smartphone could be is still unknown, although it is likely to continue exploring devices based on Android. After all, many consumers have been asking for just that kind of phone; and giving to the masses may go far in giving the Finnish company a visibility boost in the over-saturated smartphone market.