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Nokia looking to partner with a manufacturer, license its brand for future smartphones

Fasten your seat belts - Nokia is looking for a partner to help it bring new devices to market. Who will it be? Click through to read our thoughts and official details.

Published onJuly 13, 2015

Nokia gave up its rights to make, sell and market smartphones when the company sold its mobile division to Microsoft. This was sad news to the industry, which saw Nokia ruling the world for 14 years. That moniker continues to have an impact in people’s minds, which makes it a valuable asset. On the bright side, it seems the Nokia brand won’t exactly go to waste.

The Finnish company has clearly expressed it’s not dismissing the possibility of licensing its brand name to other mobile device manufacturers. Today they make their stance much more solid by officially stating “the right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model”, in which a phone maker could take care of the responsibilities the company is now limited to.

“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.”

Nokia is clearly stating they will continue to look for the right partner, “who can take on the heavy lifting” for them. The only caveat is this can’t happen earlier than Q4 2016, so it will be a while before any of this comes to fruition. This also means Nokia has enough time to plan its strategy and possibly even work on new designs for upcoming smartphones.

htc one vs nokia lumia 928 aa 928 back in hand

Any possible partners?

There’s a plethora of “world-class” manufacturers Nokia could pick from, and chances are many are interested. If I had to place my bets on a specific company, though, it would certainly be Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn).

Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) has already worked with Nokia to release the N1 tablet, which just so happens to run Google’s Android operating system (and not in that overly-modified way we saw other Nokia devices do so in the past). Furthermore, there’s some speculation rolling around that suggests Foxconn’s large investment into Cyanogen could be largely related to their plans to work with Nokia to make smartphones.

nokia n1 (6)

Android could finally help Nokia race back to the top

Nokia was unsuccessful at becoming relevant in the modern smartphone wars. iOS and Android gained too much traction for Symbian to compete. Sadly, Nokia also went all in with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, which proved to be a flop for them. Now that the company is free to mend their ways, they could try adopting the biggest mobile platform in existence – Android. By the way, we can’t exactly count the Nokia X and company as true Android phones. The interface was completely revamped and those things didn’t even have Google Play Store access.

Surely, going with Android wouldn’t guarantee Nokia the #1 spot it once held, but we can assume they will do much better. I have heard many of you say: “I would so buy a Nokia phone… if it only ran Android”. Of course, it’s also unknown whether future Nokia phones will run Android or not (that is, if Nokia phones even make a come-back), but there are high chances of such being the case. And honestly, it would be the best decision; the Nokia N1 tablet did pretty well in our full review.

Nokia's first Android effort was nothing but a licensed out product with its name ontop.

Would you buy a Nokia phone running Android now?

The real question is whether the general public feels the same way now. Would you guys buy a Nokia phone if it resembled previous Nokia design, build quality and specs, but ran Android (in its full glory) instead of Windows Phone? I believe I would.

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