back to article Nokia will indeed be back 'making' phones – and it's far from a foolish move

Yes, Nokia will probably make Nokia-brand phones again. And other people will make them for Nokia. The company has just re-reaffirmed the strategy it announced at its Capital Markets Day last November - when nobody seemed to be paying close attention. In fact Nokia said so again in April - as we reported here. Quite why it …

  1. Gulraj Rijhwani
    Thumb Down

    Nah.

    They'll be Nokia 'phones in name only. Reciprocal agreement with Mickey$oft almost guarantees they will be Windoze encumbered, and just because Nokia licences the name doesn't make it a Nokia 'phone. Nokia 'phones are dead, and have been for 5 years, sadly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Nah.

      You may want to invest in an Microsoft Phone. It comes complete with a spell checker.

      Or you may want to finish school before coming onto these forums with grown ups.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am probably being stupid

    You are proposing that a company forfeits 15$ of profit in the licensing division in order to generate a lesser profit (if any) in its phone division. On top of that if Nokia will actually do that it can be (and will be) immediately accused by all the usual suspects of selling under "cost" and dragged in front of every single competition authority under the sun.

    Nokia making phones makes sense both in terms of leveraging its brand (so easily disposed off by MSFT) and financing more R&D to ensure that those 15$ stay there from new patents when the old ones expire.

    While at it, the 1Bn loss by Sony is not what what is says on the tin. All of their devices now reuse software developed for the mobile division. It does not matter what you buy - a TV, a BR or a stereo it will be running Android and it will be running the same media player with the same bug for bug compatibility (which pretty much proves it is the same software):

    1. Failure to parse ID3v2 version 4

    2. Identical bug-for-bug behavior on video codecs

    3. Identical bug-for-bug behavior on progressive jpegs.

    So actually, the 1Bn losing mobile division of said manufacturer is financing the development of the whole range of consumer electronics :)

    I suggest you analyze the use case for both of them in depth a bit further :) You missed quite a few of the income (and expense) streams.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wanted to say...

    Please come back. But not with Android....or Microsoft....

    And then it all fell apart. I doubt they'd have the gumption to use Sailfish. Tizen, Ubuntu and Firefox seem relegated to the slow track. And all four pretenders suffer the lack of an "app ecosystem", which says that you can't sell a smartphone without fifty three fart apps.

    So what what would we be getting as the new Nokia smartphones? As the article says, vast amounts of goodwill exist, and I'd even pay a few quid extra for a phone that (a) worked, and (b) didn't spy on my every move, but how do they achieve that, and still offer the desired apps? Even Blackberry's Android app compatibility doesn't appear to have saved them.

    1. N13L5

      Re: "vast amounts of goodwill exist"

      Uh... no, not with me :p

      Nokia has done nothing but take knee-fall after knee-fall to telcos.

      I remember in the olden days, they kept promising Skype on the smarter models of their phones... it kept getting delayed and delayed from quarter to quarter.. guess why :p

      That's far from the only example...

      Then there was the very high signing fee that basically made sure only the big boys would have to compete among themselves for apps. Garage start-ups not welcome. No matter the way better and less buggy and sluggish marvels various programmers came up with, you couldn't install it, cause they could never afford the exorbitant signing fees, so you could either do without or you had to try to hack your phone and loose warranty.

      Go die in a fire, Nokia and Microsoft, Apple and Samsung, you too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another nail in the Microsoft Phone coffin, the funeral can be very far away.

    Epitaph

    Here lies young winphone, sadly snatched from this world before maturity.

    RIP

  5. wyatt

    I'd be interested to see a new Nokia phone, however I'd want to use it before committing!

    1. jgarbo
      Pint

      Still looking...

      ...for a replacement for my 5yr old N8, but can't anything totally "better". Super 12MP camera, offline GPS, brilliant comms, gorilla glass and new software from Nokia rebels.

  6. Dan Paul

    FIRST, Stop climbing.....

    over the dying bodies of your competitors to get a sale. Then you will ALL return to profitability.

    Hire some EXPERIENCED, DECENTLY SALARIED sales people that no longer worry about channel stuffing to make commissions.

    Sell your phones unlocked, sim free and refuse to add carrier bloat.

    Only give it up one percentage point at a time when negotiating with telecom carriers.

    Make a clamshell phone with a slide/fold out keyboard again. PLEASE. One that fits in an ordinary pocket, has a removable/replaceable battery & SD Card and a decent screen size.

    Make them your own version (Non Google) of Android and SUPPORT IT (with Upgrades) IN THE FUTURE, DIRECTLY FROM YOUR WEBSITE

    Listen to potential customers needs and desires instead of consultants moronic droning.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FIRST, Stop climbing.....

      And then watch as you sell hardly any.

  7. Jim 59

    Smart phones have turned the mobile handset from an important tool into an annoying toy.

    A smart phone would be better called a pocket computer. The pocket computer comes with all the annoyances of a full computer system. Is it secure (no), how long will the manufacturer provide updates (about 2.5 years). Is it complex (yes, extremely). Does it really provide network anywhere (no). And so on. Nokia is a pragmatic company, not used to making toys.

    1. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Um...

      Actually, they were far better on "doing a secure smartphone OS" business, even though Symbian was the one that actually did their flagship OS. It was the iToys becoming popular that sent most smartphone OSes off the rails.

      Nokia smartphones were able to last more than 24 hours on a single charge. That's an impossible feat with "modern" smartphones...

  8. davidp231

    So we can expect to see a genuinely indestructible smartphone in the case of a 3310 sometime in the future?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nostalgia and nothing more

    It's sad to think about all of the future technology and R&D that got destroyed with the WP fiasco. I'm sure they'll have some sort of QA for these third parties stamping the NOKIA name on random handsets but that's a long way off from the engineering and innovation powerhouse they used to be. It's a good thing we have Apple and Google to raise the bar and provide us with the products we really want, right?

  10. IHateWearingATie

    Given where they had got themselves to...

    .... getting Microsoft to pay as much as they did for the handset division was pretty impressive.

    Now, if only they had applied that business sense earlier to not fall down the rabbit hole that they did...

  11. Andus McCoatover

    No surprise there....

    and the recent announcement from Jolla that they're getting their kit made by an (un-announced) mfr.?

    I smell a device. Methinks Mr. Orlowski has't in his nose, too...

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: No surprise there....

      If it's Nokia and Jolla then it will give me hope.

      The last thing I would be interested in is yet another Android faff-phone.

  12. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The next goal is...

    to sell more units than Microsoft.

    Then there will be a 'Doh' moment.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In an alternate reality Nokia won the smartphone wars...

    Which was a shame really because in the early days I used to like what Nokia did and how they made their handsets, I particularly liked the 3600 and the 7600 because it made me retrain my mind to use the alternative button placings.

    I really don't see how they will make any money with this?

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Nokia wants other people to make its phones then ?

    And, pray tell, what idiot is going to try, when it seems clear that you have to be delusional to go up against Apple and hope to make money ?

  15. asdf Silver badge

    all depends on geography

    >Perhaps one day we'll hail the genius of the Nokia board, for being paid £4.6bn to get someone to make its redundancies for it.

    Maybe over in Europe but at least in the US it will more add to the legacy of what a total assclown Ballmer really was. What a way to go out on a total shit the bed acquisition.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes please.

    I really, really, really want a new phone, designed as a phone with the user in mind. Not some shiney bling device where the prime design aim is to lock the user into an ecosystem and force them to do things the way the manufacturer wants them to, or to act as a terminal for logging and analysing the users habbits and lifestyle forever.

    Oh, and if it has a proper keyboard and keypad, can be dropped on the floor without breaking and a decent battery life it will be even better - I don't give a rat's bottom as to how thin or shiney it is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes please.

      I switched to Bberry Passport at the beginning of the year with exactly those thoughts and its brilliant at doing exactly what you ask for. in a case ( Mines just a leather portfolio thing) its been dropped half a dozen times with no issues, the keyboard is ace and doubles as a trackpad, battery life is easily double the Note 3 I had before. even the 1:1 screen ratio actually makes sense for the 90% of the time I'm not watching videos.

      The only apps that don't work for me are my banking app ( I use the .mobi site instead) and Skygo. every other app I've tried from android runtime works fine.

      I was an old Nokia fan( N900 was awesome at its time) , still have that and my e90 , the bberry is the first phone since the 900 that I have really felt matches "Me"

  17. Medixstiff

    Perhaps they should go the Nexus route.

    Instead of filling their phones with excess crapplications like Samsung do, perhaps just a nice vanilla install of Android on a decent specced phone or two might bring in some nice sales numbers?

    Also enough with the phablets already, not everyone wants their pants pocket weighed down with something that always has to be taken out before you can site down. It's why I haven't updated my S3 yet, as I'm holding out for the rumours of a smaller screen Nexus to be true around October.

  18. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
  19. Bad Beaver

    It's the devil's work

    Is there any good will for them left to burn? I don't know. People will keep buying phones though. Yet I cannot say that I would be much interested in a Nokia branded device running NSAndroid. I would be interested in a Nokia branded device running Sailfish and as we hear, Jolla is going the licensing way and ditching their hardware efforts – but as Jolla only exists because folks were being axed by Nokia, that idea is high up on the unlikelyhood-shelve.

    Regardless: Do try! Come back and sell N- and E-Series style devices. Hire Fallon or a bunch of other mad folks to come up with an earthshaking campaign. Free us from the boredom that is Apple and Samsung.

    1. Daniel B.
      Happy

      Re: It's the devil's work

      The guy responsible for said axing is no longer CEO at Nokia. I'm guessing this is going to be less of an issue these days; in fact, Nokia might actually embrace Sailfish this time 'round.

  20. damworker

    Really?

    Nothing in Microsoft's contract to limit Nokia from branding their own phones?

    Astonishing

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      Not nothing, just little. I think there was a period until 2016 where Nokia were prevented from making their own branded handsets.

  21. DropBear Silver badge
    Devil

    Damn straight!

    Yup, definitely everyone is losing money on making Android phones, no question about that. Well, except Huawei, probably. And ZTE - yeah, that goes without saying. And likely Oppo. And Lava, Micromax, and Blu. And, of course Gionee. But other than Huawei, ZTE, Oppo, Lava, Micromax, Blu and Gionee, what did the Ro... erm, definitely everyone is losing money on Android!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn straight!

      Huawei are not making profits on their phones. But they plough huge amounts into R&D, so it's no suprise.

  22. JP19

    "Nokia accrued an enormous amount of brand good will"

    Sticking "Nokia" on some piece of Chinese crap is going to make me buy it?

  23. Mikel

    Analysts shortchange Android prospects

    At over 1.2 billion units this year Android phones are 4 times PC units. This is not small potatoes. Nokia has a lot of brand value and design chops left. They would be insane not to get back into phones. They are probably designing the first units now.

  24. Loud Speaker

    Smart phone? Ive already got one.

    I have a perfectly good smart phone (Note 3). Not going to upgrade to one made from glass (WTF) with no removable SD card or battery!

    What I want is a good, old fashioned not-so-smart Nokia phone. (My E63 is getting old).

    I want: Dual SIM, readable screen, just about useable navigation even when no signal, BT for hands-free in the car, able to play MP3s through standard headphones or BT, and excellent battery life. WiFi with hotspot would be good.

    And NO DAMN CAMERA! Sometimes people make you leave your phone at the door if you have a camera. (But I still want the LED to find the car keys I dropped).

  25. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Happy

    Jolla hardware biz...

    could put in a bit for the contract?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/07/jolla_cuts_devices_hardware_business_loose_sailfish/

  26. sorry, what?
    WTF?

    "Perhaps one day we'll hail the genius of the Nokia board"

    Seems a tad unlikely. After all, this fiasco has badly dented Nokia's "brand good will", with the brand becoming something of a laughing stock due to that backwards polE's bad-mouthing the company he headed.

    I used to work for the company (a long time ago) but wouldn't buy one of their latter day devices. Great hardware, sh*te software.

  27. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I'd buy a Nokia phone.

    My all time favorite cellphone was a Nokia that flipped open ClamShell style & then you rotated it from Portrait to Landscape orientation to use the now-revealed full QWERTY keyboard hidden inside the form factor. It had a standard keypad on the front/outside that you could use for Tap9 entry if you wanted, or flip it open for a better typing experience. I remember an eye-bulging "WHOOPS!" feeling when I found my bill that month after first getting it revealing I'd been able to go over my normal text message limit "a bit" *COUGH* & that prompted me to go for an Unlimited text message plan instead. The keyboard was *THAT* good to type upon.

    If Nokia can make another one like it but with bigger keys (think convex rather than concave, the better for a blind person to be able to distinguish between each individual key), then I'd be standing in line on release day to buy one.

    I'd love a SmartPhone with just such a keyboard option as well. The ability to type on a "real" keyboard rather than swiping, sliding, poking & praying would be infinitely easier, and I wouldn't feel the need (as much) to attach a *real* Full Sized, Desktop, USB connected keyboard just to Get Shit Done.

    Nokia, please please PLEASE make such a device. I'll fling my money at you if you do!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I'd buy a Nokia phone.

      This bloke should have marketed it, it would have sold millons...

      http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=iphone

      Probably NSFW.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd buy a Nokia phone.

      *cough* Bberry passport *cough

      went to from Note 3, haven't looked back, I suggest you track one down for a play...

  28. msknight Silver badge

    It stood to reason

    The loss of Nokia's phone division was a loss to Finnish pride ... so Nokia's return to the phone market didn't surprise me.

    I still reckon they'll take Sailfish on board and do with it, what Jolla couldn't. Only time will tell.

    As Cassandra said on Red Dwarf, "We shall see, or you shall see, I have already seen..." ... except my name's not Cassandra.... so go ask her :)

  29. Turtle

    Business Economics.

    "Billions are spent by Android manufacturers marketing their loss-makers. Samsung has just recorded its seventh quarterly loss in a row, despite producing the year's best flagship. HTC lost 24p on every pound of revenue. Sony's smartphone division is dragging down the rest of the group, losing £1bn last year. But fear not, Sony's new Mobile chief has vowed to keep on losing money"

    Well I guess that maybe I don't understand business economics as well as I thought I did.

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