Nokia’s back. Not that it ever really went away.
When the one-time mobile colossus sold its devices and services business to Microsoft in 2013, it was widely assumed that it was the end for a company that defined the mobile space for over a decade.
Since then the Finnish firm has been busy creating impressive mapping tools with its Here platform, developing a sleek launcher for Google Android and even releasing a new tablet using the Big G’s aforementioned operating system.
But when it comes to making phones again, the assumption has always been that Nokia would be steering well clear.
This was, after all, the scene of its biggest failing.
Year after year following the original iPhone’s launch, Nokia’s share fell as it released devices that fell well short of consumers' expectations.
Even once it tied up with Microsoft for an initial deal in 2011, it continued to release handsets that customers just didn’t want.
Which makes it all the more surprising that news has emerged about the company’s plans to release smartphones in 2016.
The date is important. Under the terms of its sale to Microsoft, Nokia is prevented from using its brand name to sell phones until the end of 2015.
After that, barring a couple of licensing issues, it’s free to do as it pleases.
There remain plenty of questions about what Nokia could release.
Will it be an Android phone?
And can Nokia Technologies, the company which will create the devices, be bold and deliver something along the lines of the rather smart X Series, the Android-backed budget phones which Microsoft canned within weeks of launch?
Nokia still has a serious patent portfolio and has developed some impressive camera phones in its last few years.
Will it utilise these smarts to try and win back consumers?
Perhaps so. But the fact is that it had all these tools at its disposal in the years after Apple changed the smartphone industry forever.
And despite that, it failed miserably.
The tech world has moved on at such a rapid pace that the Nokia brand is already synonymous with older, simpler times.
Whether that’s fair or not is another debate.
But put it this way, what modern consumer is going to choose a Nokia phone over an Apple or top-end Samsung one? Very few, that’s for sure.
Nokia was a huge success story. But that’s in the past.
Surely its future lies in its network business and patent licensing, with the odd Android tool thrown in.
Going back is never a good look, especially when the failure first time around was so monumental.