Nokia today confirmed that it plans to re-enter the smartphone market, though the company says, “it’s complicated.”
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has been rather clear about the company’s plans to re-enter the hardware market, however instead of manufacturing devices themselves, he is more interested in licensing the Nokia brand to other OEMs.
“the question comes up all the time: will Nokia return to mobile devices? The answer is: it’s complicated… The right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model. That means identifying a partner that can handle all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product,” Nokia said in a statement.
Essentially, the company wants to adopt the same approach it did for its N1 tablet released last year, and carry it over to mobile devices. The tablet’s concept was conceived and designed by Nokia carrying the company’s brand name, though was actually produced and sold by Foxconn, an OEM based in China. As this saves the company from the hassles of manufacturing and selling, though it still retains its brand value and having control over the hardware design, the company can make sure that the final product still resonates with the company’s famous brand name.
“We will look for the right partner who can take on the heavy lifting and work closely with us to deliver a great product. If and when we find a world-class partner who can take on those responsibilities [such as sales and support], we would work closely with them to guide the design and technology differentiation, as we did with the Nokia N1 Android tablet. That’s the only way the bar would be met for a mobile device we’d be proud to have bear the Nokia brand,” explains the company.
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So even if Nokia finally re-enters the smartphone market, it’ll undeniably have to establish itself in an overcrowded market where consumers are literally spoiled with a wide array of choices depending on their requirements.
While experts were of the opinion that Nokia would have definitely flourished had it not solely adopted the Windows Phone operating system, it’ll be interesting to see if they indeed flourish when they finally re-enter with a new approach. Licensing for now seems to be a decent ploy to re-enter the smartphone market after a gap of three years. While it may not retain the same status of the Finnish giant it was once known during its heydays, it’ll certainly help keep the Nokia legacy alive.