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'Newkia' formed to attract renegade Nokia employees, churn out Android hardware

It's been an eventful week for Windows Phone with Microsoft purchasing Nokia's hardware division. Many of us welcomed the deal that went down the other day, but some are sceptical and believe it to be a sign of how the platform is failing. This includes ex-Nokia employee Thomas Zilliacus, who's now executive chairman and founder of Mobile FutureWorks. His response to Nokia's sale? Newkia.

Zilliacus noted how Nokia enjoyed its term as the world's leader in mobile phones, to become nothing more than a small and insignificant brand today. Blaming Windows Phone, he goes into some detail about how the Lumia line of hardware have been superb and well-received, but complains about the operating system - lack of apps, no ecosystem. The usual comments. This is ignoring the fact Windows Phone has snatched 15 percent in Vietnam, as an example of growth.

"But consumers simply don't want the Windows OS because it lacks the ecosystem and there are not enough apps and services built for the platform that users find crucial today. There's also a general image problem where Microsoft isn't perceived as a sexy company. Developers think it's cooler to develop for Android and Apple iOS."

The last part is true, but Microsoft has been rebranding the entire company.

Previously spending 15 years of his life as a Nokia employee, including seven where he was Asia-Pacific CEO, Zilliacus left in 1993 but remained as a regional consultant. His current investment company, Mobile FutureWorks include former Nokia's mobile phones CEO Jorma Nieminen and Ericsson's former CEO Sven-Christer Nilsson. There are some big names involved.

A cool fact in this report over at ZDNet is Zilliacus attempted to buy out Nokia a year ago to steer the manufacturer to Android, but was unable to raise capital.

Lumia 620

Looking ahead with Newkia

With the "new Nokia" formed and ready to go, Zilliacus knows Nokia employees who are keen to develop for Android and who may wish to join the cause. It's reported he has already gathered a team of former Nokia employees and is hoping to take on more expertise across the board, from design to logistics and manufacturing.

Since Zilliacus and co. will look to secure the feel of the current Nokia, Newkia plans for its research and development (R&D) to be based out of Finland, with other divisions located in other well-known locations, including Silicon Valley. It's almost ironic in a sense for Nokia to be mocked for being the leading manufacturer for Windows Phone and dominating the market, for Zilliacus to then create a startup for Android, which is aggressively dominated by Samsung.

That said, it has been done before, noting China's Xiaomi as an example. The company released its first mobile phone a year ago and today Xiaomi outsells Apple in China. So it can be done in certain regions. Newkia will be targeting Asia, but how will the company perform in Europe or the US? That's yet to be seen. 

Nokia will continue doing what it does today with mapping and services, as well as NSN and other ventures. Microsoft will simply house the magic that has been behind the Lumia family of Windows Phones, securing the future of the product line, as well as potentially bringing better integration, support and an overall experience to consumers. Good luck, Newkia. Microsoft will keep its Nokia as is with the growth it's experiencing in multiple regions.

Source: ZDNet

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • gross!
  • Gross article!!!
    1. As if 15% in just a country that appriciates WP OS doesnt help OS to survive. 
    2. Microsoft will keep the Nokia as is.. ?? LAIRS They're not even gonna brand their Phones as Nokia anymore the Name Nokia is killed by them already.
  • Aww.
  • 1. Then an overall increase in the whole europe also insignificant?
    2. Well, depends on how you read that sentence. Microsoft clearly will keep Nokia Technologies as is. And if this Newkia still want to build smartphones, they have to go trough all licensing again. And don't forget that all device related patents are sold to Microsoft. Which means, this Newkia won't be able to use Nokia's OIS, Oversampling, and other device related technologies without licensing.
    3. Yeah .. I add another one, hearing a name like Newkia, ringing a bell to Chinese based Nokia knockoffs like Nokla, Nookia, etc that once swarming my country in asia. Guess what? No buddy buy them (-_-)a
  • The name wasn't killed by them. Nokia retained the rights to the name and is only allowing its use for feature phones. So, microsoft will have to rebrand the phone, probobably to just Lumia. That doesn't mean they won't allow the Nokia employees to operate the same as before. They are keeping the office in Finland.
  • My bet for the name: Surface
  • Finally a little truth and common sense. Thank you.
  • Yea,ok
  • Lol❕
  • Really! Some people!
  • Sore loser.
  • Yep
  • Yeah! Elop is turn out Super Flop
  • The guy left in 1993, his opinion that windows phone ruined the company is irrelevant. He wasn't there for 15 years before it happened.
  • But we all know WP ruins Nokia.
    Manufacturing WP hone not only effect profit and market share of Nokia but now it destroyed Nokia.
    Current Nokia is nothing more than MS slave. 
    Whole world know who bring down Nokia (it's mister Flop).
    It was all MS plan from begining. Bring down Nokia and purchase them at garbage price.
  • It is kinda crazy that Nokia name is simply a shell of its former self. Sometimes though I wish people just take ownership and say they waited too long to join the party. I'm looking forward to the future of WP.
  • Well said +1
  • Yes absolutely, Nokia was a great paper company once.
  • +925 onwards to the future of WP!
  • Well, as we black folk say in the south; "Tear ya ass!"
  • Hahaha, I miss being back home and hearing all the wise and sometimes blunt sayings.
  • Here's a (new) wise and blunt saying... Hey Thomas Zilliacus, go fuck yourself. Twice.
  • In south carolina and i have never, eeeevvvveeeerrrrr heard that phrase before..
  • I'm in sc and I second that. I'm black too
  • Maybe its a Texan saying? With Texas being so huge, we tend to think its the whole south lol ;-)
  • Yeah, we used to say that a lot here in DFW..
  • I tell you what? (betcha you heard that one) lol first Jolla bow newkia next Jokia... Because that's where its going lol...
  • X and mini. A look into the future and past.
  • +1
  • Yep❕❕❕
  • Why even give this guy any attention by writing an article about this?
  • Why not?
  • exactly, who cares about his dumb ass android venture
  • I think it's interesting 
  • So that we can have a laugh at his expense?
  • +1 This IS NOT Android Central and don't see why this article has to be on our front page. This must be the slowest day in the office. I hope Android Central runs a big article on this.
  • It involves a situation with Nokia, and shows that employees have been displeased with the decisions made. It helps us have an objective view of what's going on. If you keep talking about how good everything is and how beautiful unicorns and rainbows are, you'll get delusional.
    You object to this because you don't like it. That's the only reason.
  • Agreed
  • What's funny is that they really think they have a chance to be vastly successful in the Android ecosystem. It'll be a while before anyone can topple Samsung within the Android community.
  • What I don't get about the attention the story is getting is that people are reacting as if this is some guy who was with Nokia until recently, when he left Nokia almost 20 years ago.  What kind of relevancy does he have, other than trying to poach some POSSIBLY disgruntled Nokia employees to start up a KIRF smartphone company?
    He left in 1993 but spent another three years under Nokia's payroll as a regional consultant.
    From the source.
  • "With the "new Nokia" formed and ready to go, Zilliacus knows Nokia employees who are keen to develop for Android and who may wish to join the cause. It's reported he has already gathered a team of former Nokia employees and is hoping to take on more expertise across the board, from design to logistics and manufacturing."
    Not quite irrelevant.
  • Not THAT relevant either, since the big picture is "Guy who worked for Nokia 20 years ago wants to start making Android phones... is using MS/Nokia announcement to make hay while the sun shines."
    Also, the company doesn't exactly inspire confidence...
    So, sorry if I disagree, but the whole thing In the end, is just another Android startup.  When I read the original ZDNet article, the guy was talking as if HE could "buy" Blackberry, but decided it wasn't worth it, though for a company that wants to get into the mobile phone game, you'd think he'd see as much value in their patents as some possibly former Nokia employees.
  • I love this article. What you on about? When did you get your majors in psychology?
  • Lol I say let them! maybe this can finally dispel the myth that Nokia would have toppled Samsung if they had chosen Android.
  • Unfortunately if they succeed, we can be sure that Nokia could have succeeded as well. But if they fail, well, they never were Nokia.
  • Its a double standard, people don't understand how tight Samsung has android locked down.... Android = Samsung in most peoples minds.
  • I'd go as fas as saying Android = Samsung Galaxy. 
  • Absolutely!
  • This! The average consumer doesn't know jack shat about all the operating systems! When someone at my school is like "I'm getting a new phone." most peoples reaction will be "4s or 5?" I'm not even joking! It's just heartbreaking
  • Exactly. +1, and how sad that it is that way now
  • True dat. Lol
  • Chance in hell to succeed = 0.000000000% (not a typo)
  • The icing on the cake will be when they are forced to pay Microsoft royalties on all the patent infringements in Android.
  • LOL ^THIS!
  • Sounds like a bit of a twit or even a troll. "Consumers simply don't want the Windows OS." That's rubbish. I want it, everyone on WP Central wants it, the 3 million people who have downloaded Rudy's apps want it. The guy is obviously talking mud. So glad MS bought Nokia. It's guys like him and others obviously working at Nokia who don't like WP and wanted Android who were probably slowing things down. Good riddance!
  • Wrong. Many people don't want it. Many people only came to Windows Phone because of Nokia. That's a fact. Sorry if it doesn't please you.
    Also, MS hasn't bought anything yet.
  • Yes, 90%, right. Another "fact".
  • I didn't mentioned percentages. But that wouldn't be too far off, I'm sure.
  • Well he is not wrong. WP barely had any recognition before Nokia coming to the game. What's the conclusion? That Nokia fans chose WP because of Nokia, or that WP with its smaller fan base somehow managed to grow all by itself? Common sense says it's the other way around.
  • I will say, that I had a Samsung Focus, and I was brought to the WP platform over Android when my iPhone was slower than molasses after an update.  So after I cam I loved how simple WP is to use, I have used 4 different Android phones and it seems every one has a different way fo doing things.  Now for my second windows phone, I wanted Nokia as they were all in on the platform and make great phones.  But I would not choose a smartphone based on brand if I did not like the OS. 
  • Totally agree. My first windows phone was a Samsung Focus too. My partner had an iPhone and similar to you, after an update, the phone became slow and consumed significantly more battery. In the age of 3 year contracts in Canada it was important to me that the phone didn't become a brick after 2 years. Android was considered but the fragmentation on updates worried me.
  • My first too! And then Nokia jumped on. I've been hooked since.
  • my first as well, in fact my first smartphone. I have never liked apple, personally I think their moral compass is messed up. As for android, i also considered it but glad I didnt, what a mess of an operating system idk how anyone can use it. I love my WP! Nokia is just a big plus :)
  • You are not many people, you are one person with a highly emotional and often irrational opinion concerning this pending sale. It would be best for all involved to take this time to stfu.
  • No, actually you (and me) who are an avid WP fan are not many people. Common sense dictates that if all these Nokia users who have been brought up living with Nokia hardware came to WP ecosystem, things would have been a lot different. Nokia was a beloved brand, how do you explain the small market share of WP today? What pulled Nokia users away from Nokia? Bad hardware? Come on.
  • Is it possible that the decimation of the Nokia user base has more to do with sticking way too long with Symbian than it does with their decision to use Windows?
    People say that Microsoft's problem is that Windows was really late to this game.  If that's the case, then Nokia was far later and timing is as much their problem as anything else.  I would venture to say that a pretty good chunk of the people who left the Nokia brand, did it before the jump to Windows.
    Prior to my Lumia 920, I'd never owned a Nokia in the 20 years I'd been carrying a mobile phone.  Now, I buy Nokia b/c it's the best option for my chosen OS.
  • God you all such bitchy babies, stfu already
  • Maybe we should stop rudely asking people to be quiet.
  • Where were those people when Nokia's Symbian was getting throttled by iOS and Android competition?
  • All those "die hard Nokia fans" bought Symbian didn't you know?! A whole 2% market share!
  • Kissing a robot's ass and eating apples.
  • Sorry, I chose Nokia because they adopted WP, not the other way round.
    LG Optimus 7, HTC TITAN, then finally a Lumia 920. I cannot go back to crappy android, I tried to use it again, but it really is a mess to me.
  • +1
  • Exactly, same here. I even greatly disliked Nokia as phones. I was a die-hard HTC fan. I had the HTC Radar, the Trophy, Titan and then the HTC 8X. I didn't find Nokia phones sexy at all.
    And just like lemonstevo I switched to Nokia because they adopted WP. If HTC did the same, I would have *never* switched to a Nokia.  But alas, my 8X has been collecting dust ever since and I love the Amber features and equalizer, the exclusive apps and support Nokia delivers. In the end its about the support and features a brand of device delivers.
    And if HTC somehow re-ignites their passion with Windows Phones, or if the OS would get the Amber goodies and Nokia apps integrated into their core, I would go back to HTC in a heartbeat. OR just stick to a "Surface" phone. I'll have to see for myself how it all turns out. But all I can say is, Nokia ignited a fire that accelerated WP growth and probably inspired MS as well, but to go as far and say its because of old Nokia fans? Thats a bit too much. That would mean my parents would run WP as well since they were avid Nokia lovers, but they both run an iPhone.
  • Are you getting the gold iPhone?
  • Yes and I'm shoving it up your arse. See how nice I am?
  • I'm getting the white one, looks sexy.
  • Not sure that's true, considering the fact that HTC and Samsung's phones were simply rebranded versions of older Android models and were generally not promoted well by them. Also, most of Nokia's success came ater the low cost 520 was launched.
  • After winmo,palm,bb,Android,ios now wp2010
    Hd7,710,titan1&2,900&920 next WINDOWSPHONE..
  • That's bullshit DJCBS and we all know it.
  • The fact that MANY people DON'T want it, and the fact that MANY came to WP because of Nokia doesn't make the statement true that "consumers simply don't want Windows OS." That statement communicates that not a single consumer wants the Windows Phone OS. Which I'm sure most readers of WP Central and other sites dedicated to the platform will find clearly contradicts their feelings about Windows Phone. Anecdotally, my first consideration when looking for a new phone is, is it a Windows Phone. :-) So even if I'm the only consumer who wants the Windows Phone OS, my existence makes the claim that consumers don't want the WP OS false.:-) A more accurate statement would be that relative to IOS and Android few consumers want the Windows Phone OS. But even then, we're growing. Proud owner of a Lumia 1020, HTC Titan, a few old school devices- Tilt 2(8925), Tilt(8525) and two Cingular 2125's, and I have my eyes on the 1520. For me it's Windows all the way.:-)
  • This is definitely true. My first WP device was the Lumia 900, and now I have a Lumia 920. I love Windows Phone, but I love Nokia more. If Nokia went with Android, I would have sucked it up. If the stayed with Symbian, I would have been more than happy. If they moved on the Meego, I'd be happy as well. Point is, many people love Nokia, and are only on Windows Phone because of it. Microsoft, in my opinion, would be foolish to kill the Nokia name.
  • Uhh I think you are wrong here.... There is no way I am buying a phone just because of the manufacturer if I dont like the Ecosystem its running. I think a lot of people feel the same way. They came to Nokia because of the Manufacturer but ALSO because  of the Windows OS. There would be no point and No way I think anyone would jump ship from one OS to another JUST to get the phone hardware.  Many people say it time and time again..." I would get a windows phone if it had the apps"  Those are not people who are coming to Nokia just because of the phone hardware. They are staying put with their device ( Android or IOS) until more apps are available for the Platform.
    So the fact of the matter is, People who come to Nokia (mostly, Not everyone) is buying it not only for the Name NOKIA but also for the OS.
    In emerging markets NOKIA's name may drive sales but its also because of price...and in some places..Android is competitively priced at the same point as Nokia so in those places, that Nokia is excelling in over Android and IOS...Price, name and OS together play in why the device is selling so well....
    Sorry thats a fact...sorry if it doesnt please you
  • Wrong. Many people who see Windows Phone in action like its smooth and fast feel and different and appealing UI. Many people only want official apps quickly and updated (not late and broken for weeks). Many people are not technologically savvy enough to particularly notice or use 4 or more cores, 4" 1080p screens, or to jailbreak or flash their phones. They could care less who made it as long as it has the apps they want, gets the fad apps they get suckered into, and the salesperson sells them with specifications that sound fancy and are practically useless to those people. Unlike what you said, that is what is fact.
  • Yeah? Well, so does Android then. Most of youngsters here around me just buy smartphones whatever their friends use. And it's happen to be Samsung Galaxy, and maybe a small portion of LG Optimus. So what the difference? In the end, those who buy Nokia use Windows Phone. That's a fact.
  • Yes, I agree with you. i bought Nokia Lumia only because of Nokia made it. Not because of Windows Phone.
  • If it wasn't for Nokia I would never be using WP.
  • Bull$hit!Nokia was sinking before WP came to life, as all those "die-hard" Nokia fans quickly switched to Android between Symbian and WP.
    So it's safe to say that WP actually brought back a lot of people to Nokia, not the other way around.
    Facts facts facts!
  • One thing for sure, I'll be glad these "die-hards" leave WP and WP Central.  It'll be a much saner place.
  • If it wasn't for WP I would never be using Nokia.
    (tried Symbian, but really didn't like it)
  • ^THIS
  • I had an old Blackberry Curve. It gave out after a brutal life with me lol and I got an HTC Radar because of Windows OS on it. It was a nice little phone. Now I'm rocking an Nokia Lumia 810 because I wanted to give Nokia a shot. If it had android I would of simply passed. Now I'm looking to snatch a used 1020 for a solid price, in case anyone has one...
  • And its the truth: Android is awful! It constantly requires a reset (at least once a month for me, if not more), so many flavors of it that it gets confusing, and its a battery hog. WP8 just works. And Nokia with its HERE apps and tight integration with the OS makes it the best phone I've ever owned. And with GDDR3 with hi-res availability coming later this year (rumored), I now have a formidable opponent to Samsung's supposed quality anyday. I swapped my Galaxy three months into it for my Lumia and NEVER looked back :)
  • Being that they'd focus on China and other Asia countries, doesn't that help them not get saddled with copyright infringement cases?
    I mean, if they started making phones exactly like the Lumia line but with Newkia instead of Nokia on it (and with Android instead of WP) wouldn't that open up a whole can of worms for them if they tried to sell that in the US or Europe?
  • Yeah, so if MS has all the Nokia patents in design and tech, what kind of phones are they going to make?
  • Lewmias "The new Newkia Lewmia 1021"
  • More like Newkia Newmia -1020
  • That's clever and I love it
  • Sounds like a disease...Leukimia -_-
  • You can bet it damn sure won't have the design of the n9.
  • Good luck with that.
  • "A cool fact in this report over at ZDNet is Zilliacus attempted to buy out Nokia a year ago to steer the manufacturer to Android, but was unable to raise capital" this says it all
  • Yep - that's the money quote.
    While all the geeks thinks Nokia + Android is the bee's knee, the investors who actually look at the possibility of the combination making them any significant money actually don't think it is so hot.  
  • Bingo! Any investor will look at this and ask what makes this different from the last time?
    I think this article is the first and last we will hear of "Newkia." And good luck with that name.
  • All these butthurt ex employees. Nokia was already on the decline before MS came along. They moved too slowly after the iPhone came along, they got beat out by HTC and others on the low end in developing countries (they have overcome this though) its going to take time for this partnership to payoff because in Nokia fashion it came too late, 2 years too late. Quit blaming MS for your already failing business model.
  • No kidding.  Nokia was a sinking ship before Elop came to Nokia.  Nokia being in a downward spiral was the whole reason he wrote the "Burning Platform" memo.
  • Nokia was just lucky to fall into a big billion dollar pile of MS money, so they didn't explode into pieces and get eaten by scavengers!
  • Too bad palm stopped making windows devices I loved my 700wx and Treo pro
  • The man clearly has some issues with the current direction of Nokia given that he tried to buy out Nokia itself and while I wish him the best of luck with Newkia, I really can't realistically see it going very far. I hope I'm wrong.
  • I don't think it will go very far either.
  • Me either and I hope your right :P
  • It will be interesting to see if they try to encompass any of the design elements of the current Lumia line.  Using a spin-off of the Nokia name would lead me to believe they will.  How close can you get before lawsuits ensue?
  • This won't even get off the ground. This will be the last we hear of it.
  • That's why they are starting is Asia
  • Because Asia only protects their own companies patents!
  • Hmm .. Back then, when Nokia still using S60, a lot of knockoffs roaming around in cellphone counter. Things like Nokla, Nookia, etc. Yet no one buy it. What makes people buy Newkia now? Specially of they make it with exact design with Lumia... Knockoff alert will ring the bells.
  • Technically...he's right about everything he says in that passage you quote above. But this is a deeply silly effort. This would just be another Android phone with maybe more color choices.
    Microsoft really does need to step up the Windows Phone ecosystem, though. Where is the native book/magazine store? Movies and TV shows? Where are the first party games? 
  • Why don't they have teams and teams on this to get it out the door quickly? I don't get them, they play catch up but are in no hurry to get anywhere.
  • ^^ this, for WP to succeed fast the WP team should have an unlimited budget for everithing other than marketing.
  • There are certain problems no amounts of money can fix... Throw too many programmers at it and it turns into an awful mess! They already announced Xbox Video will be coming to Windows Phone by the end of the year.
  • This is stuff that should've been baked in from day one of WP7, or at the VERY LEAST, from the launch of Windows Phone 8 onward. Did you see Apple add iTunes to the iPhone on launch day or years later?
  • Whine, Whine, Wine... Would you like some cheese with your wine?
  • That's helpful to the discussion and really clever and original. Good one.
  • Your just needlessly whining though! Switch phones if your not happy!
  • Don't be ridiculous. Someone can enjoy a platform while recognizing its flaws. I love my Lumia 920. For the most part, I love WP8. It has some glaring issues that need to be resolved for it to achieve more popularity. I WANT that to happen so it benefits us all. No business ever propsered writing off the complaints of customers as "needless whining".
  • They know of the problems.... They have already said they are addressing them... So to complain after they say they are creating a solution is excessive whining. We all know the problems, they know the problems and are working and doing their best to resolve them.
  • I highly doubt they're doing their best when it comes to first-party games or when it comes to creating a first party magazine/book/comic book ecosystem or when it comes to getting first party video onto a platform THREE YEARS late.
    If that's their best, I'll be leaving when my 920 contract is up next year.
  • Bon Voyage! :) They have come leaps and bounds in a year! Your a whinny whiner! :) Lol
  • Unfortunately, Nokia and MS are like family members: "I love you, but why can't you just be normal?" MS totally has the capital to do all this...and they've had years to do it. But WP Store growth just isn't enough to satisfy a lot of users.
  • I would bet that a lot of limitation lies in what the companies owning those products and services are willing to do. If they can't get Warner Bros on board, there's not much they can do about all those movies. This depravity of services (outside of just apps) is also very apparent on WP8.
  • Xbox Video on my Windows 8 laptop sells all kinds of video and the desktop Nook app handles a lot of books/magazines/etc. Comixology on Windows 8 handles comic books. Where are they on Windows Phone 8?
  • Coming by the end of the year!
  • Only Xbox Video, and that's three years late. Also, if the interface is as obtuse as Xbox Music, itt won't be of much help.
  • Well aren't you a rainy cloud!
  • That's 3 years late.
  • Well you know who the fuck honestly uses Google Play video store often? (If you do, get an Android!) Go home and watch a movie on the big screen and not your 4 inch display...
  • This fact has infuriated me so much that I just realized my last 10 comments on WPCentral have all been negative. Microsoft buying Nokia for practically no money and the decision to kill the brand just pushed me over the edge I guess.
  • They haven't decided to kill the brand... That's just speculation! Take a breath it will be alright! :)
  • Could they even get away with that name though as its so similar to Nokia?
  • Asia don't give a fuck! :) Lol