Nokia denies reports it plans to return to smartphones

 

Nokia Technologies said Sunday it has no plans to resume smartphone manufacturing, denying recent reports it would return to a business it famously abandoned not so long ago.

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

Nokia was said to be working on a secret projectthat would result in the company announcing a new smartphone as early as 2016. The Finland-based company was expected to unveil the device and then license its design and name to another company that would handle production and sales, according to the report.

The company was once the dominant handset maker in the world but failed to adapt swiftly to the touchscreen smartphone craze and soon found itself well behind Samsung and Apple. As Nokia tried to rebuild its business, customers increasingly turned elsewhere.

Nokia exited the handset business one year ago when Microsoft formally acquired Nokia’s phone division for $7.2 billion, giving Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia name for a period of time and to continue producing Nokia smartphones through 2015. Nokia Technologies — one of three divisions that was not included in the sale — licenses the company’s patents to other firms and is charged with new product development.

Since it sold its handset business to Microsoft, Nokia has been focused on its long-running telecoms business, building equipment that enables mobile networks to function, as well as its Here mapping service. Earlier this month, Nokia confirmed it had finalized a deal with Alcatel-Lucent to acquire the French-based telecommunications company for $16.6 billion

 

Nokia Technologies said Sunday it has no plans to resume smartphone manufacturing, denying recent reports it would return to a business it famously abandoned not so long ago.

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

Nokia was said to be working on a secret projectthat would result in the company announcing a new smartphone as early as 2016. The Finland-based company was expected to unveil the device and then license its design and name to another company that would handle production and sales, according to the report.

The company was once the dominant handset maker in the world but failed to adapt swiftly to the touchscreen smartphone craze and soon found itself well behind Samsung and Apple. As Nokia tried to rebuild its business, customers increasingly turned elsewhere.

Nokia exited the handset business one year ago when Microsoft formally acquired Nokia’s phone division for $7.2 billion, giving Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia name for a period of time and to continue producing Nokia smartphones through 2015. Nokia Technologies — one of three divisions that was not included in the sale — licenses the company’s patents to other firms and is charged with new product development.

Since it sold its handset business to Microsoft, Nokia has been focused on its long-running telecoms business, building equipment that enables mobile networks to function, as well as its Here mapping service. Earlier this month, Nokia confirmed it had finalized a deal with Alcatel-Lucent to acquire the French-based telecommunications company for $16.6 billion

 

Nokia Technologies said Sunday it has no plans to resume smartphone manufacturing, denying recent reports it would return to a business it famously abandoned not so long ago.

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

Nokia was said to be working on a secret projectthat would result in the company announcing a new smartphone as early as 2016. The Finland-based company was expected to unveil the device and then license its design and name to another company that would handle production and sales, according to the report.

The company was once the dominant handset maker in the world but failed to adapt swiftly to the touchscreen smartphone craze and soon found itself well behind Samsung and Apple. As Nokia tried to rebuild its business, customers increasingly turned elsewhere.

Nokia exited the handset business one year ago when Microsoft formally acquired Nokia’s phone division for $7.2 billion, giving Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia name for a period of time and to continue producing Nokia smartphones through 2015. Nokia Technologies — one of three divisions that was not included in the sale — licenses the company’s patents to other firms and is charged with new product development.

Since it sold its handset business to Microsoft, Nokia has been focused on its long-running telecoms business, building equipment that enables mobile networks to function, as well as its Here mapping service. Earlier this month, Nokia confirmed it had finalized a deal with Alcatel-Lucent to acquire the French-based telecommunications company for $16.6 billion

Nokia Said to Be Exploring Sale of Here Maps Unit

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Nokia is considering selling its maps business known as Here, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, pushing up shares in the Finnish company as well as its network gear rival Alcatel-Lucent .

After the exit from handsets, analysts have seen little synergies between the map unit and Nokia’s mainstay network gear business. Nokia has hired a financial adviser to explore a sale of the unit, the source added.

Bloomberg first reported news of the sale on Friday.

A Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment.

Shares in Nokia closed 5.57 percent higher while those in France’s Alcatel-Lucent closed 4.82 percent higher. The two companies have reportedly held on and off merger talks in recent years.

Shares in Dutch navigation company TomTom surged more than 11 percent after the news broke.

“We have estimated that Here’s value is around EUR 3.3-4.8 billion, and in a possible deal the price should be more than that,” Inderes Equity Research said on its Twitter account.

Nokia sold its once-dominant phone handset business to Microsoft last year, leaving it with its core network equipment business, Here as well as its patent division.

Here last year had net sales of around EUR 969 million with an operating profit of 31 million euros. The unit has signed several orders from the car industry recently.

Nokia bought Here’s predecessor Navteq for EUR 5.7 billion in 2007. The Nokia website says Here’s maps were included in 10 million new cars sold in 2013, and that the unit’s maps also power “mobile devices, connected devices and enterprise solutions.”