back to article Brace yourself, planet Earth, says Nokia CEO – our phones ARE coming back from mid-2016

Nokia's chief exec says he wants to resurrect the Nokia smartmobe brand by licensing the name to cellphone hardware makers next year. CEO Rajeev Suri told Germany's Manager Magazin that Nokia Networks will seek out manufacturers to build Nokia phones from mid-2016, when Microsoft gives up control of the brand name. "We are …

  1. Mage Silver badge

    Philips

    Philips don't make TVs or Audio gear. Two different Asian companies have the licence for the badge.

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: Philips

      So help me - what's the point of buying a Nokia if it isn't a Nokia?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Philips

        so Euros can pretend they are buying local?

        1. hewbass

          Re: Philips

          The same way USians can pretend they are buying local with their iPhones?

          1. asdf

            Re: Philips

            >USians can pretend they are buying local with their iPhones?

            That shipped sailed long ago for Americans. We assume we are buying Chinese and are then surprised if we are not. Nobody in the US buys iThings because they are American in any way. They buy them because Apple's marketing is the best in the world.

      2. Keef

        Re: Philips

        Nokia designed some wonderful kit and can do so again.

        Yes, they lost their way, but that was due to mismanagement not a lack of skilled research and design staff.

        It kind of makes sense to design in house and outsource the manufacture.

        As Apple also use Foxconn You could also have asked:

        What's the point of buying an Apple if it isn't an Apple?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Philips

          @Keef

          If the article correctly represents the original report they're just licensing the name. It says nothing about the design or anything else. If Foxconn build a phone to Apple's design branded as Apple on contract to Apple it's an Apple. If Whoever just license the Nokia name & build their own design of phone branded as Nokia it wouldn't be a Nokia as you & I think of it, it would be a Whoever.

          1. tony72

            Re: Philips

            I don't see the point for Nokia in letting some manufacturer use the brand without any significant say in the design; their design prowess is what gives the brand any value. In any case a translation of the linked German article indicates they would be designing the phones;

            "After running out of the clause will point, however, challenge his former partner in the business: 'Microsoft produces mobile phones, we would merely design them and make available the trade name by license. But of course we would be able to attack, otherwise we could let it be the same [...]'".

            Of course, treat automated translations with caution, but the word "design" seems unambiguous. My reading of that paragraph is that Suri is saying that while Nokia will not be competing with Microsoft as a manufacturer, as they will only be designing the phones and providing the brand name, they are going to compete, otherwise there would be no point.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Philips

              @tony72

              If the translation can be trusted (any German speakers out there to confirm?) then that's a degree of reassurance. What would be even better is if they can also keep firm control of build quality.

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Re: Philips

                Not a native german speaker but for me the german is a bit ambiguous. It seems to state: We will only design them and license the brand name. From my understanding of the german that doesn't imply the 2 are linked (IE they might design phones for one brand and let another manufacturer use the Nokia brand for something they didn't design).

                Personally I'm still waiting for some enterprising chinese manufacturer to just license the original Nokia 3310 and just start making those again. I wan't a new one dangnamit!

                1. keithpeter Silver badge
                  Windows

                  Re: Philips

                  My 3120 is still going strong with 5 day battery life. I use it as an emergency phone.

                  Having said that, what will happen with the current range of Nokia branded s30/s40 phones, e.g. the Nokia 108 &c? Will they carry on under the Microsoft brand? Will Nokia continue to use the s30/s40 OS at all?

        2. asdf

          Re: Philips

          >Yes, they lost their way, but that was due to mismanagement not a lack of skilled research and design staff.

          Except after the blood letting and massive layoffs you have to assume their is now a lack of R&D staff at least in mobile and a loss of a whole lot of tribal knowledge.

        3. My New Handle

          Re: Philips

          The difference will depend on whether Nokia are licencing the brand, in which case it ain't Nokia. Apple use Foxconn as the manufacturer, they do not licence Foxconn to use their brand. And so they maintain an iron-clad grip on Foxconn's output.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Philips

        The same can be said about Apple...

      4. P. Lee

        re: So help me - what's the point of buying a Nokia if it isn't a Nokia?

        Design and quality control (hopefully).

        The same reason people buy Apple perhaps, but from a company a little less inclined to try to take you for all you've got.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Philips

        Nokia have a long history of producing phones, many of which were good or even great, and many of which had good build quality. So a person in the shops who sees a Nokia branded phone is much more likely to buy it than if the exact same phone was branded "My Crappy Chinese Phone Co".

        So it's good for "My Crappy Chinese Phone Co" to pay Nokia money to license the trademark from Nokia. And since Nokia has no long-term interest in it's mobile phone brand, it's good for Nokia to take the money while it can.

        The only person who loses out is the consumer - they think they're getting Nokia design and quality, but in reality the people & organisation that did Nokia phone design & quality no longer exists.

        (Nokia will, I'm sure, haver some basic requirements that the quality is OK, because failure to do that would (a) legally invalidate their trademark (Google "naked licensing" (it is SFW)), and (b) cause the brand to become less valuable. But the Nokia people setting the quality level are going to be lawyers and senior managers, not techies who actually understand the product).

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: Philips

      Yeah, and Elop is out of a job too - he'll be given as warm a welcome back as the burnt out platform he just scarpered from.

  2. Mikel

    I for one am interested to see if Nokia can still pull off some high quality design that serves to create good demand. If they manage it, that will put paid to the myth they had no choice but to drink the Windows Phone poison.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      You'll be waiting a long time then. Nokia won't be designing a thing, "high quality" or otherwise. The report implies they're just going to pimp the brand name and let other companies stick it on their own stuff.

      Seems fair enough to me: the "Nokia" brand name still has some value; why not milk it for all it's worth?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        They are not going to let anyone stick AOSP 5.1 + Golden Dragon Butterfly App Store on anything and call it a Nokia, that'd be the quickest way to wreck their brand name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Meh.

      Suppose Nokia does design a phone which they control the patents on.

      Manufacturing in China means that you'll lose that IP and the same factory building your phones will build knock-offs out the back... Or they'll take your IP and add something like a second SIM card.

      I can understand contract manufacturing, but really... you need to drop the Microsoft OS.

      (When you start up the phone, you have to sync it to a Microsoft Hotmail account, or create one if you don't already have one. )

      And of course Nokia put out the Lumina 1020 which is a great pocket camera that happens to be a phone. Would have been a killer phone if they actually created a good OS and got app developers to write to their phone.

      1. Terry Barnes

        Re: Meh.

        "(When you start up the phone, you have to sync it to a Microsoft Hotmail account, or create one if you don't already have one. )"

        Erm, remind me what you have to do when setting up an Android or Apple phone?

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Meh.

          Erm, remind me what you have to do when setting up an Android or Apple phone?

          Nope, never had to register an email address on my Android phone. Then again, I've never felt the need to use whatever passes for an App Store on Android either - any additional apps I've installed have all been from .apk files downloaded in the conventional way from conventional websites.

          Oh, and the couple of OS updates that have been available for the phone have appeared as expected too.

          M.

          1. asdf

            Re: Meh.

            You don't even have to worry about downloading dodgy apks (other than the initial one) if you go the F-Droid route. There is now enough useful apps (with source, score) in the F-Droid to cover most use cases (minuses the social networking dribble).

  3. Roo
    Coat

    Ash vs Nokia

    Is it a coincidence that the Ash vs Evil Dead sitcom is slated for release in 2015 ?

    I'll get my coat, the one with a ratty Samsung SIII in the pocket.

  4. x 7

    so whats the future of the cheapo Nokia feature phones that Microsoft currently sell? I got one a couple of months ago, branded Nokia, but with MS paperwork in the box. Are they being killed off? Seems to me a nice simple item to sell with little risk. Theres no way MS would brand them as "Microsoft" or "Lumia", but they're typical of the cheapo phones Nokia sold

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      MS got Nokia's S30 and S40 dumb phones under licence for 10 years and they have to call them Nokias. So that could be a potential albatross for MS for the next eight years (manufacturing, logistics, after-sales service, etc...).

      1. x 7

        an actual albatross for both companies if MS have to sell them as Nokias......MS are selling a brand they don't want, while for Nokia itself its a bad case of brand dilution / confusion

  5. Martin an gof Silver badge
    Go

    Why smartphones?

    Frankly I'd be happy if Nokia produced a couple of cracking "feature" phones and a few solid "dumb"(ish) phones, like updated models of some of their past truimphs. Things with keyboards (real buttons for answering and hanging up!), decent cameras, easy UI, not stupidly-huge screens, a fortnight on standby, sensible SIM-free price and good call quality above all else. Tethering and/or mobile hotspot to a laptop/tablet can take care of the things smartphones can do on the rare occasions I need to do them.

    I miss, terribly, mid-range feature phones...

    M.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Why smartphones?

      I have no answers to that but while Nokia is now back to networks and phones are such a great part of that why should they not keep those guys educated, at work, happy and up to date in that respect. Nokia's problems where never a engineering problem, the rot hit the head of the company.

    2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Why smartphones?

      @Martin an gof: "Things with..." well integrated phone, contact list, and calendar that I miss so much in what is called "smartphones" today. You know, when adding a birthday to a contact (no, I don't use FB for that) makes the calendar remind you, audibly and visibly, on the day, and where marking a meeting in the calendar automatically (without copy/paste!) adds a phone contact to the calendar entry, so when the 15 minute reminder sounds in traffic you can hit a single button to dial and apologize for the delay... And profiles - changing a whole bunch of settings with a single operation.

      Simple stuff that Nokia were so smart about in their small screen phones and that the latest and shiniest iPhones and Galaxies co-workers let me fondle still lack...

      I think I'd switch even if reading email became much worse as a tradeoff (though I don't really see why this would be necessary).

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Why smartphones?

        Hmmm - sounds like you need a BlackBerry

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Why smartphones?

        I actually had a second thought (thanks everyone for all the upvotes, by the way, I knew I wasn't the only one thinking like this). What would really get a revitalised Nokia noticed would be a phone in a similar form-factor to the Psion Series 5 with all the great applications the S3 and S5 had - updated of course. Stick a smallish screen on the outer case with phone buttons, make it fractionally smaller all around so it can be held one-handed when closed, and inside stick a larger colour touchscreen with proper keyboard (there has been nothing to touch the Series 5 keyboard since).

        Hmm... sounds a bit like the Communicator in some ways, but the S5 form factor was much nicer, particularly the keyboard.

        M.

  6. IGnatius T Foobar
    Linux

    Hey Nokia: Android please

    This is Nokia's chance to have phones that do not run the universally-rejected, universally-failed, universally-hated Windows Phone. The world has decided what mobile operating system it likes best, and it's called Android.

    1. Tapeador
      Trollface

      Re: Hey Nokia: Android please

      Maybe they could use IOS?

    2. Mark Jan

      Re: Hey Nokia: Android please

      Hey, less of the Android OS nonsense on a Nokia. And it would be a nonsense for Nokia as well unless they just licensed the Nokia name to the highest bidder and let the licensee do whatever they wanted with the innards. There's plenty of kit out there you can choose from running Android, why would Nokia (as an independent Nokia) even go there?

      And even though I'm a Nokia die hard user - my only phone is a Nokia 808 because I wanted the best camera (still unsurpassed) and the best sat nav (now licensed out) I'm still looking forward to MS bringing out Windows 10 on some 808 type hardware. In the meantime, I'm extremely happy with the 808 and as a previous poster said, on the odd occasion I do need real access to an internet app, I simply tether my laptop to my phone. The vast majority of the time it simply isn't that urgent or important.

      And if the reports are true that Nokia will be designing and not just licensing, I'm really looking forward to whatever they come up with, particularly if they're talking to the ex-Nokia guys at Sailfish. Hardware designed by Nokia running an OS which should have been on their phones had the management not f*cked up the company should be fantastic, particularly with the Android app running capabilities of Sailfish / Meego.

    3. Richard Jones 1
      Go

      Re: Hey Nokia: Android please

      Whatever else they do can they please include the user dependant voice calling that was such an excellent feature on the 6230i which I still use. One touch to the headphone, one word and call out hands free with the phone hidden in an inside pocket. The other stuff might be of interest to others, that's fine for them, but with another hand operation set for Thursday, hand free and voice calling is a prime driver for me for what should be obvious reasons.

      The Asha 300 I was stiffed with, left out the one touch voice calling in favour of supposed web access 'featuring' 'favourites' comprising nothing I had ever heard of, which could not be removed. I removed the SIM in stead and went back to my old phone!

      I do not care about the operating system though a camera is optional but if there it should be improved quality compared to the old phone.

    4. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Hey Nokia: Android please

      "The world has decided what mobile operating system it likes best, and it's called Android."

      ... and by that logic, I guess you also believe that the world has decided what desktop operating system is likes best, and it's called Windows???

      1. asdf

        Re: Hey Nokia: Android please

        >... and by that logic, I guess you also believe that the world has decided what desktop operating system is likes best, and it's called Windows???

        Pretty much ... yes. Then again Red Hat is desperately trying to turn Linux into Windows lite so who knows long term (if there is one).

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. msknight

    Yeh but ... what OS?

    It wasn't so much the hardware but the operating system that was really where Nokia lost its way. All the hardware has become so me-too that in order to really stand out, they're going to have to do something spectacular.

    Personally, I maintain my belief that they'll take Sailfish on board and put some serious money behind its development. But time will tell. I mean, what do I know ... I've been using the trollface instead of the joke icon for a number of posts this last week!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokias seen mixed in with landfill Android phones then?

  10. Bad Beaver

    Torn

    The article says they would design the phone and license the brandname.

    I don't know. Could be interesting if they came up with useful designs, not generic landfill phones. I guess it would be some Android crap but maybe one could put Sailfish on it. Sailfish on a Nokia design is something I would pay good money for. Especially if it had some buttons or  – heavens – a real QWERTY. Because, honestly: Sailfish is the cool part about Jolla devices. Their phone all by itself is a bit lackluster.

    As is, my E6-00 is doing a stellar job and the battery lasts for days at a time. Improve on that and we have a deal.

  11. Swarthy Silver badge

    Optimum Solution:

    Licence the Nokia brand to Jolla. Maybe with Nokia's help they could actually get their products into stores/into the US.

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