Former Nokia CEO founds Newkia, aims to create the Nokia Android phone you’ve always dreamed of

by: Darcy LaCouveeSeptember 5, 2013

nokia lumia 928 aa phone speaker

Despite the fact that many consider Nokia to have gone to the dark side, and to have opted for the path of least resistance, there are still great minds contained within the once great giant. The silver lining contained within the sale of Nokia’s phone division to Microsoft is that a mass defection of their best talent appears likely.

We already have a team of senior former Nokia executives ready to run the business, and we are confident that we can attract the talent from those people who want to develop a competitive phone on the Android platform.

For all those among us that have dreamed of a Nokia Android phone, perk up. The marriage of Nokia’s legendary build quality and the best mobile operating system in the world would be a truly amazing thing, and now, it’s looking more likely than ever.

Thomas Zilliacus

Thomas Zilliacus, former Asia-Pacific CEO of Nokia

In the very same time frame that Nokia essentially sold itself to Microsoft, former Asia-Pacific CEO Thomas Zilliacus has founded a company called Newkia, and he has publicly stated that he’ll be poaching talent from Nokia to build what so many of us have been waiting for so long.

Many people in Finland are mourning the demise of what's been one of the country's national icons.

In Finland, Nokia was a huge deal. For those of us passionate about mobile technology, the death of Nokia happened a long time ago, when they started getting $250 million “platform support payments” every three months from Microsoft. And, you can be sure that there are people within Nokia that never agreed with this direction in the first place.

But truly, perhaps there is something here. By attracting key people (veterans) from Nokia who would like to develop a successful Android phone, Newkia potentially has the makings of something great. 

“It’s a natural end to a sad story”, said Zilliacus.


Anyone excited? Any tips for Mr. Zilliacus?

  • Won’t there be disputes with the name newkia?

    • Potentially. The company is based out of Singapore. It sounds like they’re ready to take on a number of challenges – not only from Nokia itself, but also from the heavyweights in the industry. Is there enough goodwill to carry them forward? This will be an interesting one to watch.

      • Yup specially the patents they have sold to Microsoft could mean bye bye 41 mp sensors or they need to use a different camera module altogether and design must change. Lol rooting for them though. Nothing pushes you more than having your back against the wall.

        • OMGgary

          I think that the deal was for MS to get 10 years of non-exclusive access to Nokia’s patents wasn’t it? Maybe a lot of these patents are covered by FRAND, if they relate to vital aspects of telephony and mobile data.

          If that’s the case then while MS may be getting a sweeter, cheaper deal for patent access as part of a bigger deal also involving Nokia hardware divisions, Nokia probably couldn’t reasonably refuse most of these patents to a company like “Newkia”, if they were offered a fair price, without breaching competition law.

          • Trademark nokia sounds too close to newkia. Is Microsoft that kind?

          • Gamgigo

            Microsoft don’t own the trademark, they only have a license to use it, it’s Nokias (the remaining divisions not the handset division sold to MS) call.

          • On a Clear Day

            Assuming for the moment that the people doing this are smart and savvy to all the ins and outs of the industry, it would be highly unlikely that the potential problem – if there is one that is actionable legally with the name – would have been duly anticipated and the risk/benefit ratio calculated long before they made their move.

      • APai

        interesting that they are based out of singapore. I hope they do have a good budget, and some nice backing. I’d bet they could do a LOT if a lot of the nokia employees jumped ship to the new venture. given that microsoft’s culture is VERY different from nokia’s there’s a good chance of many disgruntled employees leaving the redmond devil.

        just to remember: the day elop gave that feb 11 speech – about a 1000 employees walked out as a sign of protest.

    • Bone

      They are counting on it. Lawsuits will make headlines that will give them attention and free advertisement, then they will change under court order, again reported by all mediums, so we’ll learn their “real” name just in time.

  • telbany94

    just pick another name

    • APai

      agreed, that was my first thoughts as well

  • YoungHermit

    Google should let Newkia make the Nexus 6 :) So they could step up to the plate and make more competititve ‘Nokia’ Android Phones :D

    • End in sight

      wow. *salivating*

    • I love it!

    • dextersgenius

      Google did say they wanted Android phones to have GREAT cameras. The Xperia Z1 is already realising that dream with a 20MP camera. The next Oppo will have removable lenses with great optical zoom. Can’t wait to see what Newkia will bring to the plate!

      • APai

        sadly the IP related to pureview has left the building. to redmond.

        so if the pureview team jumped ship, they might see a different implementation, but with an NDA and other things microsoft might want slow things down. or simply offer more dough to keep those engineers in place. besides startups dont throw a lot of money. so, I’d take this new company with a pinch of salt, unless they have big backers.

        • Gamgigo

          The IP is still owned by Nokia (MS only bought the handset division), only licensed to MS. Seeing as Nokia will have little to lose, they may well be willing to license it to these ascwell.

      • Shimi

        Nokia 41mp sensor is groundbreaking while the Z1 camera is a joke, purely PR. Cramming 20mp on a 1/2.3 sensor can only result in poor images, as shown here:

        • sggodsell

          Nokia might have the best camera tech, but its hobbled with the worst OS WP. So closed and restricted.

    • Maher Salti

      Nokia hardware with Android.. Something I’m sure many of us were thinking about as the best combo.. Let’s see where this will go! I’m all in for it!

    • brendan soliwoda

      Newkia would have to prove itself first before even being considered for that job.

  • Jhedpredon

    Newkia? Change the name, sounds lame :(( so excited to what their flagship will be. Don’t release a mid-range phone..

    • Micro Shaquer


      • hurrdedurr

        microwaved steroids?

    • OMGgary


    • Ivan Myring

      Someone on another website said to call it aikon

      • Rajan Kumthekar

        Nokdroid?? !!!

      • Captain_Doug

        Pronounced Eye-con? I like it. Great stuff.

      • smokebomb

        Just as newkia would cause issues with Nokia, aikon would cause issues with ikon.

      • berkus


    • On a Clear Day

      Au contraire. Name recognition = credibility and instant associations in our minds that help save both us from having to figuring out whom or what a company is and/or what it is about and them from having to waste time explaining. Thus, we can all cut to the chase and get on with things with as little ado as possible.

      If the people at Nokia who were less than happy about the direction Nokia are interested in having the fun of showing the powers that used to be at Nokia what they could have been if they hadn’t made the mistake of getting into bed with Microsoft want to “show them” – what could offer them a better opportunity to be in the company of similarly minded friends than to be part of making Newkia a razzle dazzling success – while old Nokia – still wedded to Windows Phone goes its separate way into oblivion?

    • mgb


  • [A]dri[A]n

    OMFG YES! Finally! :D Who cares about the name, It will be an indestructible, amazing device Haha

  • Simos Katsiaris

    Go for it

  • Lee

    How can they come up with something like Nokia since they don’t have it’s patents?If would be more like stealing.

    • Balraj

      Think out of the box??
      Great company happen because of great ppl…not patent or money
      It would start slow but it would eventually pick up
      Remember Xiaomi?? They just took a Google executive :-)
      Anything can happen in mobile world

      • YoungHermit

        True, 100 years ago Samsung used to produce noodles. Now they produce RAM, Processors, displays… :P

        • APai

          Nokia themselves were into paper production :)
          looks like they’ve gone to making tissues now, after the microsoft arsejob.

          • Max

            Let’s not forget the still awesome Nokian tires… ;)

      • Lee

        Yeah exactly that’s the point.It’d be a entirely new company nothing like Nokia was/is.As some of us are thinking.

    • TheGuy2000

      People are too excited to be thinking rationally about those things. That will hit them later on when the first lawsuits are filed. Of course MS will be the devil, again :) (and before you start disliking my post, please keep in mind that this talent received salaries for their effort in creating those patents and that they rightfully belong to those who paid for them)

  • Balraj phone where always from I use Samsung cause of Android
    If Nokia can pull this off
    Others oem are gonna cry over it :-D

  • Alexandana Theng

    Wow, when the phone release? I am waiting for this but please you change to another name, how about “NOKAND” which is a combination of NOKIA ANDROID or just a short one NA (Nokia android). However, i hope you will bring everything as Nokia did for us.

    • majavaz

      Why not NDroid?

  • Raul Velazquez

    If they create the new flagship NEWKIA NUGIA 2010 better that the Nokia lumia 1020….They’ll have my money :)

  • Ian Huey

    The Newkia name has to go.
    I wonder if there is any way they can marry their “legendary build quality” with a removable battery and storage? (one can dream right?)

  • Obeid A. Jasnaik

    This is an amazing idea…ive been mourning for the past 4-5 days following the acquisition news…but this has my spirits lifted again…here are my tips..
    1) u named the company Newkia…fine…i can understand off because a shift bigger from Nokia could mean starting from scratch…and at least gives u a head start…but yea…tip number one…dont make it the brand…the brand has to be something new…lyk someone below mentioned Nokand…not recommended but its the best line of thinking…
    2) don’t go beserk like Nokia did and shoot in every direction possible…start off slow…release 3 mobiles only…clear market strategy…target low, medium and high end customers…for eg three variants could have ram processors varying with snapdragon 200-800…Ram from 512mb-2gb…stuff like that…and vvv minimal screen size differences…like 4.3′-5.5’…not less…not more…
    3)…this is the most important…please be confident…and don’t back out…all we Nokia fans are rooting for u…and sincere request to Google…if this dream team does come through….please don’t screw it over like MS did…:)

  • End in sight

    When I saw this article I started to hyperventilate. Then I began to cry.

    YEEEEESSSSSSS! My faith in humanity is restored!

    So great to know that there are people like Mr. Thomas who are going to make all things right! (Can I please work for you Mr. Thomas??)

    It has always been destiny that Android and Nokia should be a match made in heaven. And even if the big bad witch (I mean MS) tries to stop it…it can’t be stopped. Today, the sky is bluer, my food is tastier and life has magic once again.

    (NOTE to MS, please don’t kill this with NDA’s, patents and licensing fees. Think back to when Bill G was young and driven and motivated…we need that kind of environment for Newkia to thrive! We all know that you (MS) are big and you could destroy these guys if you want to…but it takes a quality company with real character to choose instead to let businesses succeed. Can you rise above your reputation and show the world you have integrity? Please be nice MS, please!)

    • APai

      yeah, you’d think microsoft would be happy to hand over an advantage to a newcomer in a field they have failed!

    • M3D1T8R

      MS destroys everything they touch.

      • This has to be my favorite quote of the day. Nice. As he said in the interview: “…they just aren’t sexy.” Ha!

    • Mark Roberts-Barter

      So you are happy that instead of being commercially exploited by Microsoft you are going to be commercially exploited by Google?
      Does anyone read tech news around here? Google cars sniffing and retaining wireless network data? Google privacy policy becoming ever less in the individuals favour? Google Apps for Business goes from free to paid? Google’s link with the NSA (that they say doesn’t exist, but US law prohibits them from talking about)?
      Meego WAS good. Jolla IS good. Another potential Android manufacturer – who really cares. They’ll be destroyed by Samsung and Sony NOT Microsoft.

  • End in sight

    Mr. Thomas…I promise to buy your Android phone! Go for it! You will succeed!

  • APai

    Wow, this is the stuff, I’ve been dreaming off. I hope this guy succeeds. I hope much of the Nokia employees jump ship.

  • Ruz

    Great but they could have atleast come out with some good name maybe Nokai

  • renz

    Competing with big name players like samsung or htc won’t be easy but i really hope these guys can pulled it off.

  • Bilal Abbasi

    I am suggesting Names “Androkia” or “Nokidroid”, this will be a great move in smart phone industry in my opnion if happened so. Good luck for him

    • OMGgary

      How about Noxus?

      • OMGgary

        Another suggestion I’ve come up with: “Andria”
        I know it sounds a bit like a girl’s name, but I think it could work.

      • Fantastico

        It sounds like “noxious”, which could be good or bad, depending on your allegiances.

        • OMGgary

          I have a solution: Release only coffin-shaped black phones and market it to goths!

          “The Noxus Absinthe comes with a 6.66 inch FHD IPS display, the coffin “wings” to the left and right of the display are front facing stereo speakers featuring “Doomsound®” technology for richer bass and fuller range, 128GB of internal storage, 4Gb of LPDDR3 memory, Bloodtooth LE, 16 band LTE, wireless charging, and 5 years premium subscription to All of which is housed in a titanium-silver alloy chassis encased in highly polished Sri Lankan ebony….”

          • Fantastico

            Does this thing come on wheels? Like a suitcase? With a plug? Could be the Next Big Thing.

          • OMGgary

            If you buy two we’ll throw in a hearse!

          • Fantastico

            Rather, um, black humor, Gary. At least your avatar is fabulous.

    • Chad Vincent

      The “android” based names kinda locks them in, though… What if in a couple of years there’s another new mobile OS and they want to release a model with it?

      It’s as bad of a business idea as “Only Windows Mobile, forever!”

  • Brent Bradley

    Newkia should team up with the execs who recently left HTC and Google!

    • Chad Vincent

      Oooh, an HTC/Nokia hybrid? Yes, please.

  • promise7

    nice, but not liking the new name. pretty funny, microsoft pays $7 billion for nokia and now top senior staff and designers r going to leave.

  • tak

    the new nuclear…i mean newkia, more destructive than ever! hehehehe

  • राजुल

    Felt unhappy sad that Nokia was sold. The lumia handsets were best in class ( design hardware camera ) os was running out of apps but was great if Nokia had launched lumia 925 with 64 GB I would have bought it.

    Lets hope newkia will launch new lumiandroid smartphones.

    Samsung and htc beware if that

  • Rooney-

    Lol. RIP MS:)

    MS proposes, Newkia Disposes :)

  • Micro Shaquer

    That name is fail.

    Mr. Thomas Zilliacus, please rename your company with name like NUKE or a more pronounced NUKEDROID (Nuke+Droid). That would be awesome to hear and easy to market brand name.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Newkia sounds stupid. Sounds like a New Kia car. I would rather call iz Nukia.

  • gilahacker

    Tip for Mr. Zilliacus: STOCK ANDROID.

    • Hussain Ashoor

      I am with you on this!

    • berkus

      There is no fun in stock anrdoid.

      Tip for Mr.Zilliacus: The most customized version of android, all the way from kernel drivers and to the UI skin.

      • dara_parsavand

        Mr. Zilliacus,

        I suggest a third path (between stock and maximum skin) which makes everybody happy. Offer ALL phones with stock Android and let a small team (don’t put a lot of money into it, since primarily Android users were interested in Nokia for the hardware) develop custom open source apps which change the look and feel. On the play store, simply list the apps as being only compatible with a given Nokia phone with a given version of stock android (since you must keep testing costs low), but if somebody wants to play with it, let them (and pull anything good back in).

        Also …

        Post good specs. I work in engineering and it is infuriating that I can’t see how good the subsystems are in a phone. Nokia was known for good call quality, but how does that translate to numbers? In addition to my number 1: camera quality (13-15 mm thickness is OK even to get an 808 like camera), I’d like a stellar GPS and other hardware.

        Keep the line simple, but no too simple. Display size: try to offer 11 cm (4.3″), 13 cm (5.1″) and 15 cm (5.9″) or something like that (I realize you are at the mercy of other manufacturers) and don’t ever let people complain about screen size again. Use 3 common face-plates and side buttons and change the depth to allow for a range of camera options (probably no other hardware needs swapping – just use top notch everything else, but not everybody wants a thick expensive camera like I do.

        SD cards and removable battery.

        Wireless charging.

        Keep bezels to a minimum. If you can’t do 3 mm on the side, you’ve failed. If you can’t do less than 10 top and bottom, you’ve failed. Put any buttons on the back or the sides. The one excuse to expand top and bottom bezels is top firing speakers like HTC did on the One.

        Cooperate with Google. As others have said, getting a Nexus (Nexus 6) would be a huge coup, but if you can take GPe to the next level where everyone has huge confidence that their OS will update longer than any iPhone, you win.

        Forget tablets until you are a success with phones.

        I also vote for a new name. Maybe you should put out a bunch of names and do polling, I predict Newkia would not do well. How about “Pure”? (people might remember Pureview, but it would seem more likely to hold up in trademark disputes). (I just found out it was an HTC modelname – maybe that doesn’t matter).

        Dara Parsavand
        [email protected]
        I’d be happy to share more ideas on a future website set up by your company. Please keep us informed on all the Android News blogs until then.

  • mikexilva

    He’s already wearing part of the KitKat dress-code :P

  • Real

    there is no ways a new company, even with his knowledge and maybe the people he poaches will be able to rival an up and running, tried and tested hardware building approach

  • Jeldo Meppen

    It’s highly ironic – i’m in!

  • redbowl

    “The marriage of Nokia’s legendary build quality and the best mobile operating system in the world”

    Interesting, never thought I’d see the day Apple licensed out iOS. WP8 is a solid second place, but good for Newkia!

  • Balvinder Makkar

    newkia is a good name i guess
    new is english word and kia is hindi word means “to do”.
    basically the name is quite good

  • Its too early to say something on this move but still I am excited :)

  • Rajan Kumthekar

    Finally some great news and relief for all Nokia fans all over the world!! Looking forward for this one………

  • Brett

    Does anybody else think he looks like Bruce Greenwood?

  • fluffynuts

    The King is dead. Long live the king.

  • Sanath Kumar

    My two cents for a possible name, we have Android the best OS in the world and Nokia a solid phone manufacture. A name born out of the two is simple, just remove the A from Android ***Ndroid*** maybe if it is not suitable as the brand name, it could lead to a lineup like the infamous droid series.

  • sasquacho

    sounds good. where do I buy one?

  • mr v

    yeah go further with the idea of the ubuntu edge with 4 gb ram and safire glass and 128 gb rom

  • Captain_Doug

    What a great interviewer. Great questions, no softies either.

  • PJ

    Sounds very promising.
    I love the name “Newkia”. This will definitely attract the Nokia lovers like me.
    To be successful, this company had to ride on Nokia brand and same time shld be perceived as a New improved version of once strong Nokia.
    For me the name “Newkia” is a hit.

  • Jamie

    Bring an awesome innovative spectacular smartphone. Beat Samsung down….. :)

  • Ian

    Instead of using the english word “new” why not using the same meaning greek word “neo”?


    • sharkbait

      [insert The Matrix joke here] …heh.

  • razec

    Wishing them the best, Nokia will always have a special place in my heart being the maker of the first mobile phone I ever owned, this being a Sony fan myself :)

  • Christian

    Nokia sounds good but Newkia is really stupid name. I hope they come up with something better before making it. What they gonna rename Nokia after that, Oldkia? Lol

  • Arvind

    “Customize” the Android OS on Newkia…! Don’t let Google “RUN” Newkia just like any other phone in the market…!!
    I miss Symbian, performance wise, hardware integration wise. RIP Symbian…!

  • Prithviraj Nag

    Use Ubuntu Touch OS!!!

  • pathum

    Rebuild Meego! get a quad core processor in… if possible a pureview camera… a lovely unibody design… and voila!

  • F_A

    NewKia Fans page is now live ->

  • F_A

    NewKia Fans Page is Live Now ->

  • SPAM