The Nokia brand, which once dominated the mobile phone circles in its hey days has slowly fizzled out and been replaced by the Microsoft Lumia brand. In most emerging markets, customers will from time to time still see cheap Nokia handsets as Microsoft has the rights to use the Nokia brand on mobile phones till later next year when Nokia, the Finnish company, will be able to use the brand on its own phones again. Nokia, which turned 150 years old this year, is keen on making a comeback to the smartphone market it effectively exited after it sold its devices division to Microsoft in 2013.
While internally at Microsoft, the last remnants of the former empire have since been let go joining thousands of other employees who were axed following the acquisition, back in Finland, the old Nokia is regrouping. It is keen on bringing something to the table as early as next year. This will be a follow up to its current offering, the N1 tablet. The Nokia N1 tablet runs Android and it is widely expected that Nokia will go with Android for its smartphones. The company has been active in the Android space as it has even developed some Android applications. Additionally, one of the company’s last attempts at boosting its numbers soon after it was taken under Microsoft’s wings was a range of Android smartphones whose operating system had been tweaked heavily to accommodate Microsoft services in place of the more familiar Google ones found on other Android devices.
Nokia enjoys a lot of brand recognition in most markets around the world thanks to its past life as a mobile phone powerhouse. This is before it failed to respond effectively to the dawn of the smartphone age and an entirely new mobile applications ecosystem. This eventually broke it and made its devices division unprofitable. Eventually somebody had to come in and make the tough decisions however unpopular. While some may argue that Nokia would never have fared well had it gone with Android instead of Windows Phone, we really can’t make that conclusion because we don’t know that. Yes things haven’t worked out for the likes of HTC and Sony but all those companies have themselves to blame. It is how you position yourself that enables you to reap big or lose out. We’re hoping Nokia will get it this time round.
The company will however not be the one manufacturing the devices like it used to do in the past. Like it is currently doing with the N1 tablet, manufacturing of the smartphones will be outsourced to an overseas partner like Foxconn and others. Nokia will simply design the phones. After all, almost all the guys that used to do magic in Espoo and Nokia factories around the world have since joined Redmond or moved on elsewhere after that division was unceremoniously sold off.
Will old Nokia fans be convinced to go back to a brand they once loved dearly?