Reports of Nokia’s interest in returning to smartphone manufacturing have been greatly exaggerated. The Finland-based communications technology company released a straightforward statement restating that it has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer smartphones.
While anonymous sources said Nokia could return to the smartphone market as early as next year, the company squashed that notion with a terse statement released Sunday. In the statement, Nokia acknowledges recent reports claiming the company intended to make consumer handsets in an R&D facility in China.
“These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive,” according to the company. “Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.”
While the word “currently” certainly leaves things open, this statement saps the excitement out of recent rumors. The refuted reports were fueled, in part, by the expiration of Nokia’s agreement with Microsoft to refrain from using its brand name on phones until Q4 2016.
However, Nokia has expressed interest in returning to the world of smartphones via brand licensing. “Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft last year, but just months after that it launched a new brand-licensed tablet computer, produced under license by Taiwan’s Foxconn, with an intention to follow up with more devices,” according to Reuters.
Nokia agreed to sell “substantially all of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft” in September 2013, and the transaction was competed in April 2014.
Earlier this month, Nokia announced it will purchase Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion to “accelerate development of future technologies including 5G, IP and software-defined networking, cloud, analytics as well as sensors and imaging,” according to the microsite used to announce the deal.