Nokia may no longer be making smartphones, and consumers can thank the sale of Nokia’s mobile phone division to Microsoft for that. The sale isn’t something which is finite though as Nokia’s non-compete clause with Microsoft is up in 2016, at which point Nokia would be free to design and develop, and finally produce smartphones again under their own brand name. To this end, rumors have been slowly building about Nokia’s triumphant return to the smartphone industry and that they would be bringing some Android devices to the table. Not Android devices like the colorful Nokia X and XL line of devices that ran a forked and heavily modded version of the OS, but true Android devices that actually look and feel, and run like most other Android phones and tablets.
Nokia has stated in the past they wouldn’t be coming back to making smartphones, and whether or not that statement rings true is still yet to be seen. Consumers likely won’t know for sure until next year when Nokia’s non-compete clause is over. Some recent reports out of the Korean media however add to the suggestion that Nokia will be introducing some new Android phones to market sometime in the future (possibly next year), and that they’ll be taking aim at second-tier brands such as LG and others, while also stating that they would be of little impact on Samsung’s offerings due to Samsung being an established top-tier brand. These rumors seem to begin with Bernstein Research’s Senior Analyst Pierre Ferragu, who also refers to Nokia re-entering the smartphone market as “the next Android brand in the budget market.”
In addition to a new lineup of new smartphones sometime next year, Ferragu also claims that Nokia’s long-term goal will be to develop and push their own mobile OS at some point. Likely much further in the future, but no one knows for sure what Nokia’s plans are here. Nokia is no stranger to the mobile phone OS though. Their “once-proud” Symbian operating system was the OS to have back in the days before the iPhone emerged. Back when Nokia made some truly inspiring devices. Even if Nokia does end up trying to introduce a new mobile phone operating system for smartphones in the future at some point, Ferragu brings attention to something which users and consumers can’t readily ignore. That Android and iOS hold a significant piece of the pie when it comes to smartphone operating systems, and other attempts by even big name brands like Samsung have fallen short which could make it fairly difficult for Nokia to make a splash with their own offering. Whether Nokia makes new smartphones next year or creates a new smartphone OS at some point in the future is unclear, but it’s certainly enough to get some people excited.