30 Aug Nokia C1 – the Triumphant Return of the Former Finnish Giant
When Nokia sold off the whole mobile phone business, including manufacturing facilities, the contract included a non-competition clause, which expires in 2016. In November 2014 already, Nokia released the statement that they plan to return to the handheld marketplace with Nokia designed products, but the manufacturing – due to non-existing manufacturing facilities that were sold to Microsoft – would be outsourced. Actually, the whole product release would be an outsourced activity, which is a business model so new, people have trouble comprehending it.
Nokia will design new smartphones and handheld devices. There is the one tablet, the Nokia N1, which is available in stores. The business system is as follows: Nokia designs the whole concept of the product, finds a suitable manufacturer and distributor and allows that company to not only manufacture and distribute the device under the Nokia name, but to share in the profit as well. Something Google has been doing with their Nexus brand for years. It seems like a very good idea for Nokia, because through strong partners – like Foxconn with Nokia N1 – Nokia can test out the public, see if the sales are satisfactory, recon the public interest in Nokia products, refine designing techniques, all while someone else carries most of the sales risk. Perhaps in future, Nokia will expand and manufacture in-house again, but for the time being, this setup is truly remarkable and might produce really interesting results.
The Nokia C1 is a smartphone that is expected to hit the stores in 2016 and will be a 5 inch Android OS based smartphone, resolution 720 x 1280 pixels, 294 ppi, 32 GB internal, 2 GB RAM memory, solid 8 MP primary, 5 MP secondary camera, most likely Intel Atom chipset, card slot and which battery will be included yet to be determined, but the concept is being worked on. This will not be a flagship phone, by no means. Yet, it is something Nokia has been persistently good at, making solid, good, working, durable, usable, mass-applicable, universally likeable mobile phones. There are phones with these specs already available, very probably at the same price right now, but none of the phones is a Nokia, not even the smartphones Microsoft is perpetrating as we speak.
Nokia is still a synonym for reliability and durability. Some of the smartphones of yesteryear manufactured by the original Nokia are still out there, being used, working properly and being cherished. Many people do not need the overly gloss of Samsung, the incredible amount of designing beauty without corresponding specification and performance abilities of Apple, or the extreme cool of HTC. They yearn for the olden days of Nokia, where you purchase a phone and you can use it and abuse it and it takes it for as long as you are willing to do so. Nokia is one of the phone manufacturers, who can produce handheld devices for any niche and there will be sales, the brand name is so strong and revered. Therefore, the return of Nokia to the mobile phone marketplace can only be greeted with enthusiasm and a pinch of nostalgic glee.