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Nokia confirms that it’s out of the phone game

Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri has confirmed that the company has produced its last mobile phone, even though its contractual obligations to Microsoft only ban it from producing own-brand phones for another year.

Speaking at an analyst meeting in London last week, Nokia’s chief executive officer confirmed that the company wouldn’t be making a return to the mobile phone market, though Suri did allude to the fact that the company would return to the consumer market in one guise or another.

Suri is quoted as saying “We are not looking to a direct consumer return to handsets,” and went on to discuss Nokia’s plans for the future, stating “The Nokia brand is extremely powerful and we see considerable interest in licensing. We will pursue it in a thoughtful and considered way.”

Nokia was bought by Microsoft for a $7.1bn, back in September of last year, and last week saw the launch of Microsoft’s first Lumia device without the Nokia name attached, the Lumia 535, effectively spelling the end of a long and often tumultuous era for the Finnish company.

Nokia devices were once the pick of the bunch, with many people cutting their teeth on the near indestructible 32 and 33 series of phones, back in the dark days before smartphones. However, the company struggled to keep up with the likes of Apple and Samsung in terms of innovation and popularity in recent years, despite maintaining its steadfast reputation for high build quality.

According to Suri, Nokia will be expanding into new territories such as mapping and the Internet of Things, and is also investing in 4G, despite 5G reportedly being only 5 years away. On Nokia’s decision to bet heavily on the 4G market, Suri added, “4G will co-exist with 5G for many, many years, adding both coverage and connectivity.”

While it will certainly be interesting to see where Microsoft takes the Lumia brand from here on in, we have to confess to feeling a little bit sad to saying goodbye to Nokia phones for good. Its license agreement with Microsoft meant Nokia could start putting out own-brand handsets again in a year’s time, but now it looks unlikely to happen. Better get used to saying ‘Microsoft Lumia’, then…

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