Nearly all of us reading this can likely claim a Nokia phone in our past, more likely well in the past rather than in recent years, so get ready to have your nostalgia bone tickled a bit: Nokia is about to make phones again.
Nokia sold its hardware division to Microsoft in late 2013, with the deal closing in April 2014 – and just two years later, that move has resulted in the end of the Nokia brand used for Microsoft’s phones, and the slow, sad decline of the Windows Phone platform.
Nokia remained its own company, however, and now its non-compete clauses with Microsoft have expired. After teasing a return last year, the company has announced that it has partnered with a new company called HMD to develop “a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones, and tablets.”
HMD has also agreed to obtain Nokia branding rights from Microsoft to help aid in that goal. Microsoft has also sold its feature phone business to Taiwan device manufacturer Foxconn for $350 million, which means Microsoft has more or less washed its hands of the entire Nokia hardware acquisition.
It’s worth noting that the great Nokia N1 tablet (seen above), which runs Android and looks like a close relative of the iPad Mini, was made in partnership with Foxconn – so that could be a very good indication of what to expect from a Nokia return. HMD has already confirmed that the new Nokia smartphones and tablets will run Android.
What a strange outcome this is: Nokia sold its withering phone business to Microsoft, which essentially buried it, and now Nokia is starting fresh with new partners and a shift to Android devices. We can’t wait to see what comes of it.