Nokia Back In Mobile Hardware With N1 Android Tablet
Oh the irony: Nokia is back as a hardware brand. This is happening because Microsoft has decided to discontinue the Nokia brand name on its Lumia Windows Phones — after paying more than $7 billion for the Nokia hardware division a couple of years ago. Google had courted Nokia and wanted it to become an Android OEM before […]
Oh the irony: Nokia is back as a hardware brand. This is happening because Microsoft has decided to discontinue the Nokia brand name on its Lumia Windows Phones — after paying more than $7 billion for the Nokia hardware division a couple of years ago.
Google had courted Nokia and wanted it to become an Android OEM before the latter decided to go with Windows. Now Google may get its wish.
The Nokia brand and some solid hardware is what propelled the Finnish company’s smartphones to modest success in Europe (with the Microsoft mobile OS) over the past few years. Now, without the Nokia brand, Microsoft can probably expect that market to flatline, absent some true innovation.
Going forward any new Nokia hardware will probably run Android software. The company experimented with an Android phone, the Nokia X, earlier this year but Microsoft decided to kill it after only a few months on the market.
I continue to believe had former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (once and again with Microsoft) elected to go with Android instead of its exclusive relationship with Microsoft, the company would have had greater success with smartphones and would not have been pressured to sell its hardware division.
Last Friday current Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri indicated that Nokia would be licensing its brand to third parties as a way to get back into the devices market. It’s first entry is new low-cost Android N1 from Nokia. It’s an iPad Mini clone that looks pretty good.
The N1 is reportedly being made by Apple partner Foxconn but the device will be marketing and distributed by Nokia. Apparently the N1 will launch next year in China, Russia and Europe. It will be priced at $249.
This is likely just the first new hardware device that will carry the Nokia brand. I would speculate that nearly all (or all) the new Nokia hardware will use Android (or Chrome) software. Most of these will be made and marketed by third parties but with Nokia licensing approval and supervision.
In a year or two, depending on the quality of the devices, we could see a full lineup of Nokia hardware competing in the market. And at least in Europe, China and a few other markets the Nokia brand still has considerable appeal.