24 May The Return of Nokia
In September of 2013, when Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile phone division, many people around the world groaned in unison for several reasons. First of all, Microsoft and Windows are not things people would like to see on handheld devices. Since 2001 there has been a tablet PC running Windows and nobody cared, even today nobody cares, even if it is now called Surface. Nokia used to be perhaps the most beloved mobile phone manufacturing company, it still holds the record for the most sold units of a mobile phone model, the Nokia 1100, which sold over 250 million units since 2003. No phone by Apple, Samsung, HTC, Sony or whoever managed to reach even half of that number with a single device.
After the sale to Microsoft, what remained of Nokia started to concentrate its efforts on tasks within large scale infrastructures in the fields of telecommunications, development of new and improved technologies and patent licensing. It seemed that there would never be another Nokia labelled phone on the market, particularly because Microsoft lost the right to the brand name and will in future label its phones Microsoft Mobile or only Microsoft.
A few weeks ago, the whole world listened up when news broke that Nokia purchased the French company Alcatel-Lucent. This company also owns the Bell Laboratories, one of the largest and best R&D and scientific development companies, the very one originally founded by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Ironically, in 1880, it was the French government that awarded Alexander Graham Bell for the invention of the telephone, which he used to found the Volta Laboratory, which then became Bell Laboratory and is now owned by the French company Alcatel-Lucent, which is now owned by Nokia.
Did you know that Bell Laboratory owns the rights to the mp3 compression? Every mp3 sold anywhere on Earth generates income now for Nokia. While Bell Labs are going to retain the brand name, the brands Alcatel and Lucent – remember that Lucent dial-up modem, which was omnipresent just fifteen years ago? – will be replaced by Nokia. With this move, Nokia will surpass Ericsson and Huawei in combined revenue and regain footing it lost by the sale of the Mobile phone division. While no plans have been made public that Nokia intends to return to the Mobile phone manufacturing business, Nokia started to license product technology and designs to third party manufacturers. This resulted in the release of the Nokia N1 tablet, which was manufactured by Foxconn, the same company which manufactures Apple’s iPad and Amazon.com’s Kindle.