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Nokia plans to re-enter mobile phone market

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Nokia was the world's top cellphone maker for 14 years, but was unable to meet the challenges of Apple's iPhone, Samsung and cheaper Asian manufacturers.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK), the Finnish telecoms network maker, confirmed late yesterday that it may start designing and licensing mobile phone handsets under its brand name in 2016.

Nokia said it was looking for a partner who would take on the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for the products.

The company said a Nokia mobile phone would not reach the market before the fourth quarter of 2016 when Nokia's agreement with partner Microsoft allows it to use the brand name again.

Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014 after years of declining sales.

"If and when we find a world-class partner who can take on those responsibilities, we would work closely with them to guide the design and technology differentiation, as we did with the Nokia N1 Android tablet," said Robert Morlino, spokesman for Nokia Technologies, in a blog post. 

"That’s the only way the bar would be met for a mobile device we’d be proud to have bear the Nokia brand, and that people will love to buy."

The official announcement comes after Nokia chief executive Rajeev Suri told the German language Manager Magazin that it was looking for suitable partners with which to re-enter the phone business last month. 

Nokia Technologies president Ramzi Haidamus has also previously said there is value in designing and licensing handsets.

Nokia was the world's top cellphone maker for 14 years, but was unable to meet the challenges of Apple's iPhone, Samsung and cheaper Asian manufacturers.

Separately, The New York Times reports that ride service Uber has dropped out of the bidding for Nokia's mapping service.

ADRs of Nokia were down 0.5 percent at $6.68 at 10:44 a.m. in New York, extending this year’s slump to 15 percent.

 


Quick facts: Nokia Corporation (ADR)

Price: 3.57 USD

NYSE:NOK
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $20 billion
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