Last April, Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices and services business, bringing an end to a long but fading era of mobile handsets from the Finnish company. However, just six months later, the Nokia N1 Android tablet was unveiled, and is now on sale in various markets around the world.
This was made possible, of course, because Nokia isn't manufacturing the devices itself. Instead, it designed the tablet, working with engineers at Foxconn, which also manufactures the device, but it's then sold under Nokia's brand.
Having launched a tablet under this model, the next logical progression would be a smartphone, right? Well, back in April, Nokia said that it had "no plans" to get back into the smartphone business - but it seems something has changed since then, as the company's CEO revealed to Germany's Manager Magazin.
As Reuters reports, Nokia's chief executive Rajeev Suri confirmed that the company is indeed planning new handsets to be launched as soon as an existing agreement with Microsoft - under the terms agreed for its Nokia acquisition - expires next year.
"We will look for suitable partners," he said, perhaps implying that Foxconn may not be the manufacturer of Nokia's new smartphone. He continued: "Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license."
Perhaps Stephen Elop might be heading back to Nokia to lead their new mobile hardware efforts? Yeah... maybe not.