Nokia is ramping up efforts to rejoin the phone market, after selling its mobile handset business to Microsoft, and also has several technology projects planned in areas such as virtual reality, according to Re/code.
Nokia Technologies, the smallest of the company’s three arms that remained after the Microsoft deal, has already designed products such as an Android programme called Zlauncher and the N1 tablet, and licensed them to other companies. The report speculates that the company’s return to the mobile phone market will employ a similar strategy.
Nokia can licence its name to other handset makers from the fourth quarter of 2016, under the terms of the agreement signed when it sold its Devices & Services unit to Microsoft. And Nokia can already licence its brand for other consumer electronic devices, although it is not clear if it has ambitions in this regard.
In November when the N1 tablet was introduced, Ian Fogg, director of mobile analysis at IHS Technology, said that the advantages of licensing are “considerable” as it enables Nokia to re-enter the mobile device market without having to concern itself with manufacturing, supply chain management, stock control and hardware distribution.
What’s more, Nokia Technologies hired former Dolby Labs executive Ramzi Haidamus as its president last year and just last week hired Cisco executive Guido Jouret as CTO.
Richard Kerris, a former Nokia executive, told Re/code the company has “a lot of great stuff in development,” giving him “complete confidence that Nokia is a company that is not going away.”
Nokia announced last week that it will buy long-term networks rival Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal valued at an estimated EUR15.6 billion ($16.6 billion).
Nokia is also exploring the sale of its HERE mapping business (which would help fund the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition).