Nokia denies plans to return to mobile handset market


Finnish company has rejected suggestions it plans to return to making mobile handsets

Nokia has denied reports it is to re-enter the mobile handset market following speculation in recent days.

Nokia’s ‘plan’ to return to making handsets was first reported by US technology website Re/code last week. It carried quotes from an anonymous Nokia executive which claimed that the products would be manufactured at an existing R&D facility in China.

However, Nokia, which sold its handset division to Microsoft for £4.6 billion in April 2014, has rejected any suggestion it is planning a bid to return to its old stomping ground.

“Nokia notes recent news reports claiming the company communicated an intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China. These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive,” a statement from the company read.

As part of its sale to Microsoft, Nokia is allowed to begin licensing its name to other handset makers from the final quarter of next year. However, other form factors are outside of that agreement.

Nokia announced its first Android tablet in November 2014 which is being manufactured and distributed by an OEM partner under a brand-licensing agreement.

Despite this launch, all the signs are that the company’s focus is on its telecoms equipment manufacturing business.

Earlier this month (April 15), it agreed an £11 billion all-share merger with French rival Alcatel Lucent. Subject to regulatory approval, it will create a telecoms equipment business with a global marketshare of 35 per cent, second only to market leader Ericsson (40 per cent).

At executive level, it is headed up by Rajeev Suri, who was appointed chief executive officer last year. His expertise lies in the networks business having held a number of senior positions in the Nokia’s Networks division over the past decade.