After most of Nokia was bought by Microsoft, nobody expected to see a new Nokia phone that wasn’t part of the Windows Phone ecosystem. But design devision Nokia Technologies, which served as a patent library and was left out of the Microsoft purchase, is patiently waiting for its Microsoft licenses to expire at the end of 2015–and will release new Nokia-branded phones in 2016, according to Re/code.
Nokia Technologies has only released two products on its own–the Android program Z Launcher and the N1 Android tablet, which is being sold in China under the Nokia name. Instead of rebuilding the phone manufacturing infrastructure that Microsoft bought, its MO is to develop new tech, patent it, and license it out to other companies. Its new phones aren’t an exception. Someone else will build, market, and sell the new Nokia phone.
Which is a clear sign that Nokia Technologies has learned from old Nokia’s dramatic fall. Once a mobile titan, Nokia missed the smartphone train and, despite optimism in the late-aughts that it could get with the times, by 2012, doubt had crept into Nokia’s survivability in the mobile market. We know the rest: Microsoft had been partnering with Nokia since 2011 and bought most of the company in April 2014.