nokia

Nokia has issued an official statement that denies recent online reports that the Finland-based company will make and sell smartphones once again. The statement refers to a story posted on a China-based website on Friday that allegedly quoted the head of Nokia in that country. That report said Nokia would begin making Android-based smartphones in one of its Chinese facilities.

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A new story says that Nokia is reportedly "exploring" the idea of selling off its HERE maps division. The company may decide to ditch the maps business in part to concentrate its time on its wireless network division. HERE Maps is already getting some interest from other companies and private-equity firms, according to Bloomberg's unnamed sources.

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Update: The HERE team has posted an official update on this stating: "we have noticed some discussions in the blogosphere about HERE on Windows Phone. We want to clarify that we are committed to providing great products and consumer experiences for Windows based phones. We will continue to support our HERE apps to ensure that they will be compatible with future versions of Windows."

Original story: It looks like Microsoft is taking over development of HERE Maps for Windows Phone from Nokia. The change comes after it was revealed that Nokia was looking to develop the client from the ground up for Android and iOS platforms.

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Opera has today announced the company has signed a deal with Microsoft to see its Opera Mobile Store replace Nokia's portal as the default hub for apps and games on select hardware. Nokia feature phones, Symbian, as well as Nokia X mobile devices will be affected by the switch, which will commence in the first quarter of 2015 as Opera begins redirecting consumers through their own store portal.

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As Microsoft solidifies its rebranding of the Nokia mobile division heading into 2015, there is one rumor that just won't die: Nokia wants to make smartphones again.

Certainly there is nostalgia behind the iconic brand, something that current Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri clearly understands. However, there is just too much navel-gazing these days for 'clues' in Nokia's Facebook and Twitter posts that Nokia wants to make phones again. Luckily, Suri today made it clear that Nokia has no plans to return to smartphones.

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It is no secret at this point that the Nokia name was going to be eventually supplanted by something else. Nokia lives on as a separate company, while Microsoft takes ownership of the Lumia brand and brings the new employees into the fold.

Speculation about the name change has been going for months but on October 21, Microsoft made it official by stating the new name will go from Nokia Lumia to Microsoft Lumia.

Tonight, the Conversations blog has more on the name change, including what it all means.

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