Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft last year, but since then rumours have bubbled up now and again that the firm is planning to return to the mobile space. Citing anonymous sources, Re/code recently lit the touch-paper on a round of new stories floating this idea. It reported that the firm was plotting more mobile moves, spearheaded by Nokia Technologies, the division which handles the licensing of Nokia’s 10,000-plus patents, but also develops the N1 tablet and the predictive Nokia Z Launcher interface.
The story claimed that Nokia would just deal in design and let partners handle manufacturing, sales, and distribution. However, officially, the deal with Microsoft stops Nokia from selling phones until the end of 2015, and from licensing anything like that until Q3 2016.
Which is perhaps why Nokia has today come out and poured scorn on this story.
In a (short and somewhat terse) official statement today, Nokia noted “recent news reports claiming the company communicated an intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China.”
It went on: “These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive. Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.”
What seems far more likely that is that Nokia, bruised by it’s experience in The Great Handset Wars is turning its attention to other technologies such as virtual reality and the enormous opportunity afforded by the Internet of Things.
Nokia recently acquired Alcatel-Lucent for $16.5 billion, with a stated aim of focusing on IoT and cloud computing, not to mention 5G, networking, analytics, sensors, and imaging.
Nokia could also either continue to play around with, or sell, its Here mapping business (perhaps to Apple to improve its woeful mapping product? But that’s just idle speculation, of course…)
Whatever the case, Nokia says mobile handsets are not, currently, calling it again…