Less than a month after Nokia's CEO Rajeev Suri expressed the company's desire to get back in the mobile phone business, a company spokesman today said that it will focus on developing new technologies and design for other firms to implement.
As per the terms of their agreement with Microsoft, Nokia will not be able to manufacture any mobile phones until Q4 of 2016. Hence, their strategy as of now is on designing the hardware and then selling the license out instead of manufacturing the phones themselves. Having been effectively implemented for the N1 tablet, the strategy will continue to be implemented for mobile phones and tablets until the agreement with Microsoft runs out.
Having led the world for over a decade in terms of mobile phone sales, Nokia could hardly compete when Apple, Samsung and other phone makers began churning out new smartphones with new technologies. It's Symbian, and later Windows platforms could not match up to modern iOS and Android platforms which later forced Nokia to sell off their manufacturing business to Microsoft.
Having acquired a new business consisting of a large number of smartphones, even Microsoft has till date failed to alter the scenario. Recently, CEO Satya Nadella announced the sacking of nearly 7,500 Microsoft employees, principally from the mobile phone business. In an e-mail to employees, he also stressed on concentrating on three to six phone launches every year to cater to every segment and allocate the best resources to fewer models.
It will be interesting to see if Nokia succeeds in collaborating with a phone manufacturer to sell its new design and technologies this year when Microsoft seems to have made a strategic error in buying the former's mobile phone business. My guess is that we won't have to wait till Q4 of next year to find out.