Nokia’s new CEO Rajeev Suri took the stage today, and mapped out the future of the Finnish telecommunications giant after its phone business got acquired by Microsoft.
First off, as sad as this sounds, and despite some unsubstantiated rumors, Nokia doesn’t plan on making phones anymore. “We are not looking to a direct consumer return to handsets per se,” were his actual words. Still, there is a silver lining, and it is that there is an extremely high interest in licensing the brand, he added, so at some point in the longer term the Nokia name “will return to the consumer world.” Now, whether this will be with phones, or other devices and maybe services, remains to be seen, but the hopes that Nokia will quickly start churning out Android handsets seems dead and buried now.
As for the other aspects of the company, the CEO mentioned that it won’t have its HERE brand of navigation software compete directly with Google Maps, but instead rely on third-party licensees like Amazon, Microsoft or Yahoo, in business-to-business partnerships. We’d say that with the release of the beta app for Android and iOS this ship had sailed, as the app offers options lacking in Google Maps, like offline navigation, but whatever rocks the boat. Nokia’s CEO expects that all three business units – Networks, Technologies and the mapping business – will be returning to growth and profitability very soon, but it’s the end of the line for Nokia phones piece that strikes us the most in the end.