Nokia CEO says the company will return to the smartphone industry

When Microsoft bought Nokia's Devices and Services division in 2013, there was an agreement made that keeps Nokia from entering the smartphone business until the fourth quarter of 2016. However, it appears that Nokia will indeed be doing just that once that agreement expires.

Speaking with Germany-based Manager Magazin, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri had this to say about re-entering the smartphone market:

""We will look for suitable partners. Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license."

This news comes as Microsoft announced earlier this week that it would merge its devices group with its operating system division under the new Windows and Devices Group. Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia, has now left Microsoft as its devices head, along with its phones leader Jo Harlow.

Source: Manager Magazin; Via: Reuters

309 Comments
  • Hopefully with windows mobile 10 ;)
  • Or maybe the people at Nokia don't like Microsoft so much anymore.
  • If there are any people left at Nokia....Maybe it's a blessing that Nokia got rid of 50k employees and all its manufacturing supply chain.  As an outsourced design firm, they may be able to provide some value to entrants into the field, but it really is a bad time to be a smartphone maker.  
  • Q4 2016? So the new Nokias will be out around the same time as the new Windows flagship phones... lol
  • Excellent!
  • Maybe windows phone flagship will be designed by Nokia with Nokia name on it . Lol
  • LOL, love this one.
  • Maybe Jo and Steven will make their own start-up together.
  • Seems to be that they are better at shut-down than start-up...
  • Indeed.
  • NOT all, most... They got rid of more then 50.000 but you get the gist.... great comment!
  • Yes, I would say they will be going with Android this time.
  • My guess that they are going with windows :) they are not stupid, they understand, that they already have ,,name,, on windows community, and windows phone lovers :)
  • Stick with Windows and only get 1% of the market? Not sure why they would do that. I am a windows phone user and love it. That being said I am sure they will go Android this time around to get more marketshare. I know many Droid users who loved the Nokia designs and tech but didnt want the Win OS. Nokia will make a killing if they go with Droid.
  • Why not do both? Microsoft is testing loading window phone rom's on android phones in asia. Just make the phone and let the user decide which OS they want. Since Nokia is just designing the hardware, what do they care what OS it is running.
  • This.
  • I'm not seeing it
  • Do not be blind !!! Remember the biggest flop in the world Nokia issued with there android Nokia X line, and in France (my country) WP have almost 20% market share and Nokia is the leader in it. So I still believe that they will offer design and brand to any company who want to try, but not take the full risk this time...
  • By going with only Droid will not do much for Nokia either. Win phones shares may increase with launch of Win 10 or next smartphones.  It seems Nokia is interested in just designing mobile phones ,as it said above , and use its brand for licensing .So it makes more sense to go with both Android and Win.
  • No they wont they will be just another android OEM out of hundreds going for the small share left over after Samsung takes there share so let say Samsung 85% of the android market that leaves 15% to fight over you already got HTC, Sony, Motorola,ect Nokia will be the low man on the toe Dum pole and they wont make much waves kind of like that tablet the made a few months ago I don't know exactly how well it sold buy given that haven't heard any news on it it don't seem to be setting the android world ablaze
  • How I read this, I don't think they are going to put any OS on their phones. I read it like they are simply designing the phones, and licensing out the name to manufacturers.  I image a world where Nokia comes up with the design, sells it and the name license to a manufacturer who chooses what OS is on it.  In the end, I'm sure it will be Android, which is really going to be a sad day in Nokia and WP lovers, but that is how the world works.
  • I was with you up until you said that you are sure that it will be Android. A few things to point out:
    1) No one knows for "sure" anything.
    2)He stated that Microsoft makes phones and they could license the name to them.
    3) Nokia and Microsoft has a relationship. Who knows what the plan may have been since the beginning?
    Even if it may not make sense to us.
    4)Who says that they will or have to license the name amd/or possible hardware out to just one OS,or OEM?
    We'll just have to wait and see.
  • @mswindows101: If Nokia had any plans of ever returning to WP devices and Microsoft of having Nokia design phones for them, Microsoft would have extended the use of the Nokia brand on smartphones until the end of the non-competition clause.   Also, people get this "licensing" thing all wrong. Nokia won't give away their brand to anyone just because. It's Nokia that choses the partner and Nokia that controls everything in the licensing deal. They are, if you wish, the "author" of the "book". Foxcoon or any other company, are the "publishers" of Nokia's "book".
  • You do understand they already developed an Android Tablet made by Foxconn and has the Z Launcher for Android. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I love the Z Launcher. Wish it was available for iOS as well.....but that will never happen, unless they publish it on Cydia.
  • They did nothing but lose money with Windows, you're crazy to think they'd go back to it. 
  • They didn't nothing but lose money before they meet Microsoft if it wasn't for Microsoft Nokia would be bankrupt right now.
  • They will go android. However they probably will stick to non us markets. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App
  • He specifically said that Microsoft makes phones and they could license the name to them.
  • Or to a bigger degree add to Qualcomms reference design program for smaller OEMs
  • Read again. I don't think he said he could license TO THEM. He just said it to make the differences between business models of MS and Nokia. He also said they will look for suitable partners.. :)
  • Aren't most of Android makers not earning much? Why Nokia thinks it can succeed?
  • They're not going to be a maker. They are going to be a designer. So, the makers will license the designs from Nokia. They won't care if the margins on the android phones are low. They will make money on the licenses which will probably have a healthy margin.
  • Yeah like anyone would want a losing name on a phone they make might as well release a tandy branded phone or a Atari phone.
  • Yeah the days of adding and new names to phones is gone, there are a few majors,and a lot of little manufacturers not making a cent, put simply, the market is saturated.
  • Since Microsoft save them from bankrupcy I hope if they choose Android, they also choose Windows Mobile and let end user decide. After all both Windows Mobile and Android are much better than MeeGo (remember the N9) or Symbian (N8 or 808 Pureview)
  • You're kidding right? At the time of release MeeGo annihilated everything feature wise. It had integrated facebook and twitter, as well as a truly innovative operating system that meant a phone the size of an iPhone 4 had an extra 0.4 inch screen size. It was a brilliant design, hence why it sold out in most places it was available.
  • Yeah but only like 1/2 % of the worlds population owns one or even knows about it or even cares
  • If they're smart, they'll go with Android. Windows Phone is Microsoft's most botched business. I'm actually kind of embarrassed to be a Lumia owner at this point. If they don't deliver something amazing by this fall, I'm going back to iPhone.
  • Just go sell out to android get off this site and let people that actually like WP to have fun talking to people that actually like WP and not listening to winning idiots who don't understand that Microsoft ain't going anywhere they will stay the course and gain market share little by little till they make money and till there developers make money so see you.
  • Yeah... Like some kinda grudge
  • They're not stupid to make the same mistake twice Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree.  Re-entering the smart phone market is really a risky venture at this point.  If they're just doing OEM design works, that's a different story, who cares who actually produces the phone then, but if Nokia ever wanted to end to end another phone, and include a 3rd party OS, they would be in a worse way financially quick.    People who dream of Android Nokia phones are the same people who will buy a Nexus.  Samsung, HTC, etc., don't really need that market.  Hell, it's a loss leader for google.  Nokia can't have loss leaders.
  • Why are people celebrating? If customers can get a Nokia design with a more popular OS (Android), isn't that bad for Windows Phone?
  • No. Because the android market is already dominated by other brands. Nokia wouldn't stand a chance. So they will design smartphones, sell the licenses for such design to some manufacturer and then the manufacturer will decide which OS will use, it can be android or windows.
  • Or Tizen, Sailfish, Firefox, etc. It would actually be cool if Nokia and Jolla got back together.
  • Wasn't Jolla inspired by Meego?
  • I'm with you ... one of my NOKIA 1520 just waiting to get a Sailfish OS.
  • LOL ... I replied to kiddori post and suddenly disappear everything on my monitor. And now I can see my post ... on the wrong place. My apologies to both of you (above and under). Thus, my replay to above post: I'm with you ... one of my NOKIA's 1520 just waiting to get a Sailfish OS.  
  • No because its not really Nokia anymore everyone here is fooling themselves Microsoft got all of Nokia's top phone designers working for them now even though some on these site acts like they work for Nokia and know everything the new Nokia is stripped down and Microsoft only left scrapes they did want and since Nokia don't make the phones they wont be the same image them off brand android phones you see at the supermarket that's like a brand you never heard of before put nokoas name on it no diff it will be a crappy third party phone OEM making the phones and slapping Nokia on them.
  • Told you so
  • Seems like a bad deal MSFT got in this purchase if Nokia makes Android.
  • No it wont Microsoft is more Nokia now phone design wise then Nokia is now the next Nokia will look like a off brand plain 20 dollar throw away android witch is what it will be. All of nokia's top phone designers work for Microsoft now.
  • I too would love it with WP10 & Android. I
  • Yes, with phenomenal designs ;) Like 1020, 925, 830, 930 etc.
  • Haha, no
  • Some sigh of relief!
  • Indeed. So hopefully there will be a Nokia upgrade available in a year and a half after my contract expires and I want to move on from my 930. Excellent news!
  • May be to 950 ;)
  • Yap. I want to Surface phone though.
  • Yeah
  • Hell yeah!
  • In nokia we trust
  • Nokia is dead to me.
  • Get burned boii
  • Nokia Windows 10 mobile phones would please a lot of the public here...
  • I will not buy a Nokia when all the lumia team is in microsoft
  • Nokia doesnt plan to make it themself they planning to give the license to other company to make the phone like the Nokia N1 Tablet that Foxconn made... all the money that sells goes to foxconn but the license goes for nokia only
  • As a Taiwanese, I wont give Foxconn a penny. Its CEO is so infamous in Taiwan.
  • No all the hardware designer is still with Nokia not with MS, it was said by the Nokia CEO himself 2 months back
  • Can u guys tell me some good Windows phone games?
  • Sure, can you tell me the cricket scores?
  • Mush is an excellent one
  • Cublast
  • Try quiz up
  • Mirror's Edge, Shoot 1UP, Zuma's Revenge, Halo: Spartan Assault, Halo: Spartan Strike, Hexic Rush, Skulls of the Shogun, Age of Empires: Castle Siege, Hitman Go, Crimson Dragon: Side Story, Max &the Magic Marker, NBA Jam, Tentacles: Enter the Mind, Revolution, Mush, Pac-Man CE DX, and Wordament.
  • Greed City, QONQR
  • Snake rewind, cloud raiders, bridge constructor, reaper, some gameboy emulations..
  • Asphalt 8 airborne, Zombie HQ, Beach buggy Racing, Crossy road, Lara Craft : Relic Run, Subway Surfers, Temple Run : Oz
  • Cloud Raiders, Royal Revolt, Total Conquest, Hugo Troll Wars, Star Wars Commander
  • Traintown, Universe War 3D, Tentacles Enter the Mind, Minecraft PE, Tentacles: Enter the Mind, Chess4All, Best Quest, Angry Birds Space  
  • It is called texting. You send messages to your friend and time when they reply you back.
  • Good for them
  • Nokia never put on the side the brand licensing option - like it had made with the Nokia N1 tablet.
  • So hopefully more Nokia devices, please MS
  • ??
  • Asking MS to make Nokia phones? XD
  • Tis funny...
  • Good for them!
  • No, good for you!
  • Odd announcement. Odd market to get back into. Oh well, time will tell what they do.
  • They are just going to sell their name to crap android hardware. This will only hurt their brand further. I dont think it is a good idea, but what do i know...
  • The marketshare of Apple proves that people just want a simple beautiful phone with a simple interface, that is exactly what Android + Z launcher is all about ;-) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That is also what Windows Phone is about. That hasn't helped much...
  • Bingo. Plus if people cared about "beautiful" phones, they wouldn't be buying simpleton iPhones, let alone the bulky, hideous cases every iPhone owner dresses their devices in. 
  • Comparing apple to Nokia is like comparing a peon to a god.
  • Their Android series (Nokia X) is outselling every Lumia device that they ever produced. Of course Nokia will go with what people are interested in. Unfortunately Windows (Phone) is a burning platform that only gained 3% world wide marketshare within 5 years.  
  • It is not outselling because it is an Android though. It is outselling because it is 19 dollars, or whatever it is.
  • Elop burning Platform was for Symbian not to wp...
  • That's also because of all those stupid exclusive.
  • But they might also come up with Android products based on this vague quote.
  • there is already Nokia N1 tablet that uses android with Nokia's UI or w/e it is called
  • Z launcher. :)
  • They won't be Windows devices, but best of luck in a very competitive market
  • Queue the trash talk between Microsoft loyalists and Nokia loyalists.  I for one hope they make (or design and license) both Windows 10 and Android devices. As I understand it, Nokia does still own the patents for tech like PureView, Clearblack, Rich Recording, but not the names anymore (these are being leased for 10 years by Microsoft). It also owns all the R&D labs that that tech was created in.  So, although they may not manufacture the phones themselves, Nokia's offerings should still be unique, including design, camera and other hardware tech, and things like the Z Launcher.  This "news," though hardly surprising, is exciting. 
  • Exactly, the phones will have Android though.
  • Ditto.
  • I will definitely buy a phone Nokia design. I trust their quality and reliability. But I hope they don't make the same mistakes they did before.
  • Designing is not the same as manufacturing. They may design it, but would they be manufacturing it as well? Quality, supplier selection and consistency is dependent on your Manufacturing department, which I don't think they have anymore.
  • Dont they still own the factory in india?
  • No
  • Their Lumias weren't manufactured in Nokia factories. Compal manufactured them.
    Going forward they'll have the likes of Foxconn builds the phones. Foxconn can have great quality as proven by, for example, the Xbox One, Playstation 3, all the Apple products, etc. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Maybe some new designs and quality will result. Looking forward to see what's to come.
  • If only they decided to stay with Windows that would be so freaking awesome ;)
  • Just because of the name? Really? I mean all the Lumias you love came from people who now are a part of Microsoft. Embrace it.
  • Lol, I suspect many didn't see that coming.
  • I did, but people said I was crazy and stupid.......
  • Only those who weren't paying attention or have a Microsoft-fetish. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I ll simply buy anything with Nokia Brand...i know all the hardware part is with Microsoft..but still I love the Nokia Brand..No matter what B-)
  • Thats just blind fanboyism  
  • reminds me apple fans, lol
  • Look at his comment below. He is an Apple fan.
  • Read some of the comments on this site for any Microsoft related news if you want to see blind fanboyism.....
  • Nice try, but your fake post won't convince us that Nokia fans are as stupid as Apple fans.
  • At least Nokia fan isn't paying overpriced product.
  • Actually they are when their behind their competitors specs for cost eg. Samsung wp8 launch devices vs. nokia wp8 launch devices
  • Samsung sucks so bad i can't call them mobile phones manufacturers, frankly, it sucks so bad all their products look like some chinese copies with sparkling lights aka tacky. Tasteless devices. And the most funny part is that if a Nokia has some battery problems, for the samdung followers is bad, really bad: Nokia sucks, bla bla bla. When your shamesung explodes in your pokets: Well what ca you do, it is a defect device, right? Tacky devices for tacky people....
  • And Samsung can't code for shit. Worked with the business phones. Every model had a different module to access programming. Reliable phone systems, keeping up with programming software for each was a nightmare.
  • So they'll be another Sony, LG, or Motorola.....fighting for scraps. Got it.
    As far as the Nokia loyalties go, I just don't get it. I have owned a dozen different smartphones and their build quality is no better than anything else I've had. In fact, all three Nokia lumia's I've owned have had hardware problems.
  • Well, some of those you listed sell more smartphones than MS does so Nokia would do pretty well if they can reach such numbers. ;-)
  • Just that Sony, LG, Motorola and HTC are selling more smartphones in a quarter than Microsoft ist selling in a whole year. And let's not begin with all buggy Microsoft hardware products. Microsoft even refuses to replace the Lumia 535 with the faulty touchscreen controller chipset and tell people it's only a software problem instead.
  • More along the lines of kodak/Polaroid selling their name to anything
  • You mean LG who has seen continuous growth and begins to threaten Samsung? Sony who, despite all the blunders, is still the third largest OEM in Europe and second in Japan? Motorola who is steadily growing again? You should recheck the Android market. Samsung is still the biggest but they're continuously losing ground. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Big, Ok. Not so profitable, though.
  • Only Sony is losing profit here.  Lenovo/Motorola is massively profitable, LG seems to be chugging forward with few issues. 
  • I think Nokia will rise with their Z launcher, it will attract many people just by their looks alone .... Samsung may lose a customer next year ;-) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hopefully it ll be foxconn...The same manufacturer who makes iPhones
  • I think people a few comments above already figured out that you are an Apple fanboy
  • And the Xbox One. And the PS3. And a tun of other popular devices for that matter lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Nintendo Wii U I believe as well. 
  • Hopefully it'll be made by dwarves or elves. Heck I'll take elfs. But leave my buddy Alf out of it.
  • Not sure how much it matters. But I know I am relieved to hear it! I love the two nokias I've had and will never go back to another brand.
  • Go Elop its your time to be a Trojan again. Join Nokia again.
  • Oh yeah!
  • What kind of a paradox is this?
  • Wish I had a Time Machine xD
  • Uhuhhhh right, i would go to somewhere in the year 2200's where little James T Kirk is touching a Nokia phone or whatever in the car he stole xd Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If its going to be Android then I won't be getting it. The Nokia Lumia 930 will be my last "Nokia" phone. I might have any other brand as long as it is Windows Phone.
  • Agree
  • Can I get a Nokia phone that dual boots Windows and Android.
  • Convince Microsoft and Google to allow that first. The reason or hasn't happened yet is because both companies pressure for it NOT to happen. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • By both, you mean Google, right? MS has nothing to lose by allowing Windows to run on Android phones. Look at xiaomi for an example.
  • Xiaomi isn't dual boot. It's a Windows Phone 10 ROM. It replaces the Android version on the phone but it's still Android. Dual booting is having two full OSes available on booting and choosing one.
  • If Nokia has no connection with Microsoft any more, the would probably go for Android,listening at last people crying for that!!!
    It would be silly to return to Windows mobile, don't you think?
    Unless...
    A new OS? Would Nokia use their past and their name to regain the lost ground? Meego was abandoned,WP had a perspective but it was early time for the OS to show its potrntial, now what?
    We will see...
  • Nokia has tried 3 different operating systems of their own already without success. Meego, Maemo, and whatever Microsoft uses on the low end devices in Europe on the $20 phones
  • I guess that they need to get out of the M's
  • To be fair, Meego and Maemo never had a chance.. Development was cut very early.. Anyway I think these days there's no room for other OS'S on the market. Maybe not even for Windows, unless they really speed up the development and they offer unique hardware.. I know they were focusing on low end devices, but people buy Galaxy Ace phones cause they see the Galaxy S series that everyone praises and think they must be similar if not the same.. With Lumias that doesn't happen.. Playing catch up on main features when competitors were battling with "cutting edge" (even if useless) features didn't help either.
  • I would be unhappy to see Nokia return with low end devices ONLY.
    Not fair !!!
     
  • Nokia was focusing on more end devices! Why do you think Elop was fired..... Oops, I mean retired?? Because he continued to have the Nokia motto times are changing Microsoft sees low end devices alone isn't gonna help them move forward or make a real impact on the US
  • You're forgetting Meltemi... ups, that didn't even see the light
  • OmG55 your talk is foolish. If you can't get the reallity in your head, stop posting about gadgets you don't understand. Probably shamsung/android fanboy? That can be smelled from Texas till China. Maemo was killed in favor of Meego who was killed even before it's first device released by The Elop who loved microsoft so much that wanted to return to it with all costs. First learn some things before talking crapp. And if your ignorant, does not mean their is nobody that wanted to try the new system, the Meego. Their are also people who like to see pride of innovation you know. Not just copied tacky devices with a retarded system like Android.
  • Meego should have been Maemo 6 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If history has shown every time hp for example released a Android tablet it faded from existence after a mere 3 months. Basically meaning that if their not going all out they shouldn't bother with this definition of insanity
  • And be unsuccessful like they were better WP and after.
  • A dual boot Android +Windows phone is a very good option for Nokia to re-enter the market with a BANGGG...
  • Oh, I would LOVE to see that! But it would may have to have a very good RAM and good phone storage to get Android AND Windows Phone apps onto the same storage. Maybe.
  • Dual boot Linux/Chrome/Windows PCs are such a hit so why not! /s
  • The funny thing is, dual booting on system isn't really something extraordinary. I have triple boot on my laptop and I know many others who run multiple OSs on their systems (Usually Windows+Linux or Windows 7+8.x). While I would love to see a dual boot phone (Windows+Android), I don't see how it's a worthy approach.
  • I would love to see Nokia making Windows devices again.
  • Nokia was/is free to enter smartphone business anytime, just not with the Nokia brand.
  • They only has their brand right now.
  • They have their brand, ALL the patents they had before, some new ones and even a bunch of great designers and engineers.