MWC 2016: Nokia plans to re-enter smartphone market

Nokia CEO says company could return to the smartphone market as early as this year

Nokia has confirmed it plans on selling smartphones again, nearly two years since it sold its hardware arm to Microsoft for 4.6 billion.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri announced the Finnish company's intention to return to the sector it once dominated during a press conference at MWC 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, today, according to CNET.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"There's no timeline, there's no rush," said Suri at the event. "It could happen in 2016, it could happen later."

Nokia, a 150-year-old company, started life in the forestry and power industries before becoming a hit mobile manufacturer during the growth years of the feature phone era in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Mobile phones such as the 3210 and 3310 were ubiquitous consumer devices during their heyday, but the arrival of Apple's first iPhone in 2007 changed Nokia's fortunes and the mobile industry completely.

Failing to keep pace with Apple, Samsung and other rivals, Nokia partnered with Microsoft, ditching its Symbian OS in favour of Windows Phone in 2011. Three years later, Microsoft bought Nokia's mobile division in a doomed bid to belatedly enter the smartphone market.

The deal between the two companies meant Nokia was barred from making smartphones until the second half of 2016, according to VentureBeat.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Suri hinted that it might return to the smartphone market last summer, saying the company won't produce the phones itself, but license the Nokia brand to a manufacturer.

Today, the CEO told the audience at MWC that Nokia is holding on for the right partner instead of leaping back into the market with a "premium" offering.

But he suggested that Nokia would like to retain a level of creative control.

"We want to be in a position to design the devices in question with appropriate control measures in case they don't meet expectations," he said.

Suri added that he believes Nokia can still make an impact on the modern mobile market, saying: "The recognition of the brand is still very high in all the major markets. We think it's a good business model."

Since being locked out of making devices, Nokia has sold off its mapping business, HERE maps, to German carmakers and has been exploring 5G networks in its home country. It has also announced plans for new datacentres in the UK.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now



Best smartphone 2019: Apple, Samsung and OnePlus duke it out

24 Dec 2019

Most Popular

data breaches

Marriott data breach exposes personal data of 5.2 million guests

31 Mar 2020
cyber crime

FBI warns of ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers amid coronavirus usage spike

31 Mar 2020
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020

Zoom kills Facebook integration after data transfer backlash

30 Mar 2020