Nokia denies plans to re-enter the consumer smartphone market

Nokia denies plans to re-enter the consumer smartphone market
Nokia has just published a statement on its official company website claiming that it has "no intention to manufacture or sell consumer handsets". Furthermore, the company also deemed as false recent reports that quoted a Nokia executive as confirming the company's ambitions to manufacture smartphones out of an R&D facility in China. 

Earlier this week, a couple of reports suggested that Nokia is staging a comeback to the smartphone market. The initial report, published on Monday by Re/code, quoted sources familiar to Nokia's plans according to which the company is planning a return to the smartphone market in 2016. A few days later, a Chinese newspaper quoted Mike Wang, the President of Nokia China, communicating an intention to to manufacture smartphones in the Chinese city of Sichuan.

Nokia's recent statement doesn't specifically make any mention to plans of designing smartphones in the near future. The statement only mentions that the company has no plans to sell or manufacture consumer handsets, and this specificity leaves room for interpretation. Re/code originally reported that Nokia will licence smartphone designs to third party manufacturers, which is exactly what the company did with the Nokia N1 tablet, a device designed by Nokia, but manufactured and commercialized by Foxconn. 

Nokia is bound by its deal with Microsoft not to release any Nokia-branded smartphones until the third quarter of 2016. We're keeping an eye on the situation and we'll get back to you as soon as there's more to report.

source: Nokia

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56 Comments

19. Tricell1991

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

Please come back to make the legend again Nokia.

17. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

Nokia do us all a favour and stick to what you're doing now.

16. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

Microsoft has started where nokia left and believe me they will do a much better job I have a nokia 808 only the camera is good the rest is utter crap and THAT was their flagship how the the hell could they compete with Apple and samsung no wonder they were doomed.

52. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It was proof that hardware needs software. The same struggle that MS has faced with 7/8 os's and needs to address with 10.

12. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

"a device designed by Nokia, but manufactured and commercialized by Foxconn. " no more like " a device desing by Apple , copied by the new chinese designers at Nokia and manufactured and commercialized by Foxconn. "

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nokia fans everywhere (including myself) have been let down by this news...

24. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

I disagree. I've been a Nokia fan since the late 90s and stuck with them through to the 1020, but the people responsible for all those great phones have left the company. So if you want something by them then you need to buy a Microsoft phone, which is what I'll be doing with my next phone as I still want that great Nokia quality of old. Anything Nokia did produce going forward couldn't be up to their old standard (especially as they also sold their manufacturing facilities) and for me would simply damage the great reputation they had, so I for one am glad they're not planning to return to the handset business.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

There are Nokia fans that won't go anywhere near a Nokia/Microsoft product, ESPECIALLY since the Nokia branding will no longer be on their Windows powered handsets. Microsoft also gave the pink slip to many Nokia engineers and designers. I'm a long time Nokia fan and Windows fan. I would just prefer Nokia use an OS that's similar, yet more refined, than Symbian. That's Android.

27. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Fair enough. Choice is great though, there are both people on both sides of the isle. But right now Nokia needs to make sure their coffers are good before doing anything again.

29. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

Well perhaps the name on a product is important to some, but to me it's the people behind the product that really matters. They're the ones that make a product worth buying, not the name on it. As for OS, Nokia had long been developing a brilliant new mobile OS in the shape of MeeGo, but due to internal politics they stuck with Symbian; a decision which ultimately killed their handset division.

32. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

MeeGo was a great OS. But I have to disagree with you on MeeGo being killed off because Nokia stuck with Symbian. Elop killed MeeGo. Symbian had nothing to do with it.

35. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

You obviously don't know your Nokia history. The MeeGo/Symbian internal battle happened long before Elop arrived at the company. MeeGo continued to be developed, but the team had been scaled back so much that it was never going to see the prime time. The battle I'm referring to was to get MeeGo on the N8 and the other devices that ended up running S^3 instead. That was the decision that signalled the beginning of the end for Nokia's handset division and was made before Elop was CEO. Don't blame Elop for Nokia's problems, they were all of their own making and pre-dated his arrival.

39. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

I know my Nokia history very well. I've been using Nokia devices since the E90 and the N95. MeeGo was going to survive prior to Elop arriving, despite the N8 running Symbian. That's why the N9 and N950 developer phone was created. Elop did indeed kill MeeGo, that why he didn't allocate the proper resources towards R & D, marketing, and product launch for the N9. He even went as far as to say he won't even launch a follow up to the N9 BEFORE it was launched. Yes, Nokia's handset division was slipping prior to Elop, but once he arrived and switched everything to Windows, Nokia's handset division did the fastest nose dive in the HISTORY of all handset company's. There is no way you cannot tell me there was some "funny business" going on, what, with Elop getting A $25 MILLION BONUS for expediting the sale of Nokia's handset division to Microsoft.

42. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

MeeGo was dead before Elop arrived, the moment they decided to re-work S60 instead of leading with MeeGo (or Maemo as it was called at the time) it had no chance of ever being properly released. It stayed in development, but do you really think Nokia could have launched yet another platform with everything that entails after S^3 had failed? There's no way they could have at that point; they were already haemorrhaging cash and there was little prospect of any other manufacturer joining them to help out due to the success of Android. No, the only way Maemo/MeeGo could have been a success was if it had been released in place of S^3. Even then its success would have been doubtful considering how popular Android was becoming, but Nokia would have had a much better chance of staying in the handset business if they had of gone down that route. But they didn't, and that decision was made long before Elop arrived. As for there being any "funny business" involved when Elop joined then, well that's just idiotic. The handset division took a nosedive in sales before they moved to Windows Phone, that was down to the failure of S^3, a decision that pre-dates Elop's arrival. Going Windows Phone was certainly a risk and in hindsight you could say it was the wrong choice, but at the time their options were severely limited. They couldn't afford to launch another OS, so their only options were to go with Android or WP. With Android they would have been just another OEM at a time when only Samsung were making any money producing Android phones. But with WP they would be the biggest fish in a pond that at the time was predicted to expand fast (this proved to be wrong, but that's hindsight for you) and they would have influence in the direction the OS took. Oh and MS were offering them a huge amount of cash to stop them going bust. And that $25m bonus for the sale was well earned as Nokia sold the phone division for far more than it was worth because Microsoft could not allow it to end up in the hands of one of its competitors. So that $25m bonus is nothing compared to the extra money he made for the shareholders. Oh and one last thing; Nokia are a publicly traded company, therefore all major decisions have to be agreed upon by the board, and ultimately the shareholders. Plus any major sale like this is pored over by the authorities, especially when it involves a European company. So if you really think that Elop could have pulled any "funny business" in the sale, you don't understand how publicly traded companies work.

43. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

1) I am aware of Nokia being a publicly traded company. I am also aware that one billion dollars is a good reason for the Nokia board and shareholders to vote the "Microsoft" way. 2) MeeGo wasn't dead until Elop killed it. The N9 was highly regarded as the best handset out besides the iPhone at that time. The S^3 powered N8 was actually selling well right before Elop came aboard. I will find the links that prove this and post it. I am by no means saying that Symbian 3 would have been Nokia's savior, but MeeGo, with proper backing, could have been. Even had it not, going Android would have proved to be MUCH MORE successful than going Windows for Nokia. Most Nokia fans would have jumped on an Android powered Nokia smartphone, with Z launcher or a familiar Symbian launcher in tow. Mind you, I'm not an Android fan, I'm just practical, and know that Android would have been a better choice. 3) Of course that $25 billion was well earned. Elop got Nokia sold for a fraction of its former worth. YES, Nokia was in trouble before Elop, but Elop ran the company into the proverbial ground after he came aboard, and in record time. The $25 million bonus was on top of any other money Elop would have through his efforts as a Trojan horse, oops, I mean through his "diligent" effort to get Nokia sold to Microsoft. You and I can debate this until we are blue in the face, but I'm never going to believe that Elop didn't have an agenda here. And that Agenda was to get Nokia sold to Microsoft. As I said, I'm not a Microsoft hater. I absolutely love their products. I just ordered a Surface Pro 3, as it's the absolute best tablet on the market today, IMO. I actually like what they're doing with Windows Phone, especially with how Windows 10 for phones is turning out. I actually have the Windows 10 technical preview on my Dell Venue 8 Pro. I just don't like how things went down concerning when Elop came aboard on Nokia. And I think that the Nokia handset division would still belong to Nokia had they chosen Android, or put more effort into MeeGo, or both.

49. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

ironically however meego was more capable more than the windowsphone 7 for one more open yet is simple enough for everyone = appeals to bigger audience and was announced dead regardless of how sales go what company in their right mind says we're killing off this products even if people like and it also apparently outsold the first wave of lumias

50. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

MS fankids smoke their own stash. Get over it, you can never tell them different. If it was Hugo Berra instead of Stephen Elop, I bet the ranch they'd still be alive, doing well, and he'd not have sold it to his former employer for a parachute package. You MS guys are dorks...still at 3%..,

36. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Symbian had LOTS to do with it. Elop Killed it off as well as other board members after an independent team and their own internal team knew the two OS were just not worth it. Even samsung walked away from both OS and went with android. When elop got there, he asked what do you have, not a single phone was able to be presented to compete with the crop from iphone or android, and LTE was well far off in MeeGo, well far off. Gotta dig up that article that was from the ex employees before Elop got there, shows how much internal crap both symbian and meego did.

40. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

SYMBIAN didn't have anything to do with it. The lack of DEVELOPMENT of Symbian into a much more modern OS is was did it. You guys are here blaming Symbian like it was a living, breathing organism, and not just an OS. Symbian was a very old OS. There was just too much code to be re-written. It was better for Nokia to start with a different, new OS, and COULD HAVE been MeeGo, had the proper resources not been deterred from it. MeeGo was the future of Nokia. Was their a lot of internal crap going on with Nokia? Yes. But had they elected the other guy to run Nokia (I forget his name) and not Elop, we would seen MeeGo thrive and eventually replace Symbian. That was his plan. But they went for Elop and the cool BILLION dollars he offered to the board of directors just for getting him in the door. I'm not saying there wasn't a lot of internal strife and drag-a$$ing going on with Nokia prior to Elop. But he DID NOT HELP NOKIA in the way that it would have survived on its own. The Lumia handsets launched prior to Nokia's handset division were not competitive. Android handsets were so much more capable. So was the iPhone. The Lumia's 800, 900, 710, 810, and 820 offered NOTHING in the way of either making someone switch from Android and iOS, or getting long time Nokia users to stick with them. I should know, because I owned 3 of the five handsets I listed. Nokia fans wanted something familiar, something similar to Symbian and MeeGo, and Windows just wasn't it. It offered NONE of the functionality that they were used to. Hell, even WINDOWS MOBILE offered more functionality than WINDOWS PHONE, and WinMo was a hot mess. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Microsoft hater. I have used and STILL use Microsoft's products, dating back to its WinMo days and before WinMo 6, with the HTC Wing. I've owned a plethora of Windows devices since then, going all the way up to the Lumia 925. I still have it, it's just not in use anymore. I still use a Dell Venue 8 Pro as my daily driver concerning tablets. I'm looking forward to seeing what Windows 10 has to offer.

47. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

There was more choices than Elop...know why they didnt join? I'll let you search the web for that. Symbian did have LOTS to do with it. Symbian team internally prohibited functions on Maemo, like oh i dont know CALLING feature! Seriously, when an internal strife (this is way before Elop) limits the new os because they didnt want to be challenged?! And you dont think Symbian had anything to do with it? Lets put it this way, Nokia needed people to buy Symbian and MeeGo, there was no way around this. Nokia was ranking in millions from the license of Symbian. When Samsung Cisco and tons of other companies walked away from both Symbian AND Maemo, nokia needed something, they were bleeding. Enter Elop. Show me your phones, not a single LTE ready device, the device they did have was ok, but lagged and wasnt considered a challenger to either apple or Google. So after an internal investigation NOT DONE by Elop. They decided to axe it and the rest is history. I am not calling you an MS hater, i am calling you blind to history. Nokia killed itself and MS was just there to pick up the pieces.

48. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

I'm certainly not blind to Nokia history, but I think there is a little bit of the Microsoft fanboy in your post. Elop DID NOT HELP Nokia's situation not one bit. Microsoft only helped by floating money to Nokia to keep it going long enough for the price to go low enough for them to snatch up the hardware division for chump change. Symbian devices brought in millions, even after Samsung and the others discontinued making Symbian devices. Symbian even started to GROW SALES right after the N8 was released. Nokia didn't necessarily need an LTE ready device to compete then. Even the iPhone wasn't using LTE back then. Nokia adopting Windows, an OS that had ZERO similarities to what Nokia fans were used to with Symbian and MeeGo, only served to drive Nokia fans away in droves. You cannot deny that Nokia had a RECORD BREAKING COLLAPSE AFTER THEY ADOPTED WINDOWS PHONE.

51. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Straight from the mouth of internal Nokia employees, or a rendition of it: "Soon after beginning his job at Nokia, Elop started the ”Sea Eagle” project whose purpose was to sort out and analyze alternatives to Nokia’s smartphone strategy. In addition to tens of their own people they hired consultants from outside of Nokia. As a result a decision was made that the combination of Symbian and MeeGo was not sufficient for a succesful long term strategy. In the United States AT&T would have agreed to sell N9, although hardware vice it was considered outdated compared to its Android rivals. Apparently another version of N9 was in development for Verizon, codenamed RM-716. Even if N9 would have been released in North America in 2011, Nokia could not have had a successor with LTE support to offer for a long time in the fast paced smartphone market. Elop stated in a memo sent to his employees that Nokia might only have one MeeGo phone in the market by the end of year 2011. During the analysis the MeeGo team didn’t have any device that could have been shown to Elop or the Nokia Board of directors that would certainly have been available for the winter holiday season of 2010." A new CEO did what he was supposed to do, take a look at a failing strategy, which is why they got rid of their old CEO, and come up with a plan. Heck lets go further: "In the end, MeeGo didn’t suffice for other manufacturers either. Nokia was the market leader and others thought that Nokia had too much power in the MeeGo project. At the end of 2010 negotiations were held with Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson, but none of them decided to cooperate with Nokia to develop the MeeGo ecosystem and the big European operators retreated from the investments simultaneously." None of that was MS or Elops fault, zero zilch, i could even show more, delays, problems Symbian issues with the new team Meamo... There is no MS fanboy, i could care less if Nokia went with MS, before i bought a nokia phone (for its camera), I owned three htc windows phone. I was already sold on the platform before Nokia. This was the result of android 2.x problems we had with phones at our work (we had 25 phones), low and behold it was the 5 test windows phones (hd7's) we had that didnt cause issue as to why i sided with MS os for my everyday phone.

54. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

"It is clear, that the 3 year period under Elop was a disaster. All metrics, every single conceivable metric for Nokia CEO shows not mild decline, but huge decline - this in an industry that was strongly growing. During his 3 yars at Nokia, the Nokia corporate revenues fell 40%. Nokia handset sales revenues fell 40%. Nokia handset market share fell 54%. Nokia smartphone sales revenue fell 69%. Nokia smartphone market share collapsed 90%. Nokia profits were wiped out to the tune of 92%. Nokia lost over 13 Billion dollars in shareholder value. From the day he joined Nokia, to the morning when it was announced he has been removed from office, Nokia share price had fallen 60%. When he started, Nokia's credit rating was near perfect; as he leaves office less than 3 years later, it was rated junk. This has been the worst performance of any CEO of any Global Fortune 500 sized company in a comparable period of time. It is a world record in corporate failure by CEO. So that is what this blog is about. This is the story of how Nokia was destroyed. And to keep the words to a reasonable count, I have been drawing pictures for you. So it will be easier to see through the graphs and diagrams than just reading another 10,000 words... NOKIA BEFORE ELOP Nokia was a corporation in trouble before Elop joined. Elop was hired as a 'savior' to Nokia's problems. This is how bad it was under previous CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Nokia had seen revenues decline from its peak in 2008. Nokia had seen profits decline severely from its peak also in 2008. Nokia had reported its first quarterly loss (although the full year was still profitable) - that loss was driven by Nokia's troubled Networking division, not its handsets units which were both highly profitable. Nokia's share price had fallen in the 4 years and 3 months Kallasvuo losing 56% of their value. Nokia's highly praised triple-A rating was downgraded to AA+. Nokia as a corporation was still healthy when Kallasvuo left, but not nearly as incredibly strong as it had been under the legendary Jorma Ollila the CEO who guided Nokia in its strong growth years across the turn of the Millenium. So to be clear, Nokia had reported one QUARTER of a loss, but in annual terms, Nokia was a profitable company. Its big revenue growth had turned into decline but that decline was actually halted around the time the Nokia Board decided to seek a replacement to Kallasvuo, and Nokia revenues had returned to growth by the time Elop joined Nokia. Nokia's troubles were in its Networking division, its two handset units, 'smartphones' (Nokia called them 'converged devices') and 'dumbphones' (Nokia calls them 'featurephones') were both highly profitable at the time. Nokia's problems were mostly those of 'execution' of its strategy - some Nokia phones had been technically failures like the N97 flagship and others were incredibly delayed like the N8 flagship which was launched with a one year delay."

55. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

But wait, there's more: "Elop was introduced by then Nokia Chairman Ollila with a mission to fix those 'execution' problems. There was no suggestion by Nokia management that Nokia's handset division was in trouble or that specifically its future, the smarthphone unit was in any way in trouble. We have since learned, that the whole issue of Nokia replacing its smartphone strategy came up late in the year with Elop in charge as CEO, it was not part of his hiring negotiations. We have also found out only after Elop left Nokia, that he had in his employment contract a new clause his predecessors did not, which would pay Elop under the extraordinary condition that the handset unit were to fail so badly under his tenure, that it would be sold. So yes, to be very clear, its been confirmed by Nokia and reported throughout in the press, that Elop had a contract, that would pay him a 25 million dollar bonus in case the handset division itself were to see its business collapse."

56. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

"Again, all performance metrics are worse under Elop with progressively worse performance. So on a corporate top-level basis, we see that under Kallasvuo, his last 12 months, Nokia revenues were flat, but profits grew strongly and handset unit sales grew mildly. Since Elop took office all three see massive falls. The revenues initially stay flat, then take a steep dive. The profits vanish and turn into huge losses, recovering now to miniscule profits, less than one tenth the size of profits Elop inherited. And the handset unit growth was turned into decline instantly. So what do we learn? Elop took over a company whose overall sales revenues were flat. He turned them into decline. He took a profitable company whose profits were strongly growing, wiped those out to produce a huge loss in his 3 year tenure. And he found mildly growing handset sales, those he turned into declines. Lets be very clear. Nokia was not fully healthy when Elop came in, yes, that is true. He was supposed to save Nokia. Instead he helped kill the sick patient." There is absolutely NO WAY you can tell that after that analysis of Nokia's downfall, all factual stats, mind you, that Elop didn't play a decisive hand in destroying Nokia. That was taken from here: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/11/nokia-under-elop-his-3-years-performance-review-worst-ceo-of-all-time-all-the-facts-in-pictures.html And before you try and disavow Tomi Ahonen, this is a guy that has worked with Nokia for YEARS, from within the company itself to an advisory capacity. He knows what he's talking about.

37. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

MG ... Your comments and replies are so great here ... Keep it up buddy

41. meanestgenius

Posts: 23040; Member since: May 28, 2014

Thanks. I'm not a Windows hater, but I firmly believe that Elop was not helping Nokia at all. Windows, and I like and use Windows daily, just wasn't the right path for Nokia to take, considering it's drawbacks compared to Android at the time. Android was much more similar to Symbian and MeeGo, although, we would have preferred MeeGo.

38. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

No, it's standard business. Did you think they will say they are planning to do so after the agreement with MS? Definitely not. Let the deal with MS finish, and you will find them again working on handsets. This time it will be for Android. And think yourself, why would MS make such a deal if they think that Nokia won't be making a device in future?

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

This is a just example for businesses of any size that wish to make a deal with Microsoft. And also my motivation to keep Microsoft off my Android devices.

20. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

What on earth has this got to do with MS? Nokia sold its phone division because it was haemorrhaging money and that started long before they moved to WP. Microsoft pumped over £1bn into the company to keep them going, but by that point nothing could have saved Nokia's phone division and so MS purchased it, for which they paid over the odds to make sure it didn't fall into a competitor's hands. Make no mistake though, Nokia's phone division was screwed long before MS were in the picture. Oh and there is no keeping Microsoft off of your Android device, or any smartphone for that matter. All smartphones use a lot of MS technology, which is why MS get paid so well for every handset sold by all the major manufacturers.

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