Mañana: Nokia’s in no hurry to go back to phones

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MWC16 Nokia CEO said the company could return to making mobile devices this year or next, but isn’t in a hurry.

“There’s no specific timeframe. We don’t need to be in a rush. We will explore this with the right partner or partners, depending on the case,” said chief exec Rajeev Suri at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“It might happen in 2016 or it might be 2017,” he added.

Nokia is allowed to use its branding again on phones and other cellular devices, under the terms of the acquisition of its phone business by Microsoft. That unit is rapidly diminishing under Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a reluctant acquirer who has shed half of the 25,000 Nokia staff.

Nokia was experimenting with a new model, involving licensing the brand, with the N1 tablet. But between the announcement and the scheduled ship date, it appeared to get cold feet. The N1 never shipped in quantity.

Suri hinted that he hadn’t found a suitable partner willing to take on the risk in such an arrangement. Contract manufacturers such as Foxconn have been moving up the value chain, becoming increasingly expert at design.

Microsoft shunned a public presence in Barcelona entirely this year. That’s how much it wants you to see Windows 10 mobile, we guess. ®

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