Nokia to re-enter handset market next year via partners

Nokia – the world's top maker of handsets till it got pushed aside by the smartphone revolution – has confirmed rumours that it will be back with a new line of Android smartphones next year.

The Finland-based firm shared a slide at the Capital Markets Day 2016 event in Barcelona that depicts its agenda for 2017, which includes ''Nokia brand's return to smartphones''.

Nokia's non-compete clause with Microsoft (after the latter took over the company) finishes in 2017. The company is ditching Microsoft's Windows OS in favour of Google's Android OS, which has the largest market share among smartphones. The event was held on 15 November for investors.

Since it no longer has the required manufacturing facilities after having sold them to Microsoft, Nokia will rope in Finnish company HMD Global, and Taiwanese giant Foxconn to manufacture the smartphones.

Led by former Nokia execs, HDM will "develop, market and sell Nokia-branded phones and accessories", while Foxconn is dealing with R&D and manufacturing, reports said.

 The first smartphone of Nokia after its come back is rumoured to be the D1C that runs on Android 7 Nougat with a Snapdragon 430 processor, and offers a 1080p display and 3 GB of RAM.

Nokia will just be acting as the owner of the brand and its patents, while overseeing the development of new phones through HMD Global, a new company that was created earlier this year.

Reports have suggested that Nokia might be launching a second device in 2017, details of which are not available yet.

In 2014 Microsoft acquired the worldwide handset business of Nokia for &7.5 billion, without Nokia India with its sole plant in Chennai, as it had been embrouiled in a prolonged tax battle plant with the Income tax department (See: Nokia completes deal with Microsoft sans Chennai plant ).