Nokia may have solid its devices and services division to Microsoft, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that its gadget making days are over. The company still has control over a number of important patents for making mobile devices and it’s demonstrated an interest in manufacturing non-Windows Phone devices in the past. Now, several new job postings found on LinkedIn seem to hint that Nokia may return to Android smartphones in the future.
Microsoft recently announced that the Nokia X Android smartphone line will cease to exist forever, the low-end Asha smartphone project will be scaled back, and that laid off many former Nokia employees. Microsoft’s exit from the Android and low-end smartphone markets opens up a door for other manufacturers. Many tech pundits believe Nokia may take this part of the business back over, now that it is completely separate from Microsoft.
If Nokia decides to make Android smartphones, the devices will most likely be pure Android devices with Google’s full app suite and the Play Store included.
A series of intriguing Nokia job postings seen on LinkedIn over the past week have added fuel to speculation about the company’s future hardware plans. The job postings include position such as patent coordinator, principal engineer, application engineer, and mobile photography engineer. The Mobile photography engineer post is of particular interest because the listing specifies that the candidate must have a background with drivers for Android.
The job posts are vague, but a few of them do specifically mention hardware.
One posting says that Nokia is looking for someone to “Lead the product management activities for a new category of device products, including defining the product proposition and business opportunity,” adding that “Your strong leadership and contribution is instrumental in making our products competitive leading to the commercial and business success we expect from them.”
While a few job postings are hardly conclusive evidence that Nokia wants to re-enter the Android smartphone game, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Nokia, Sebastian Nyström, confirmed on Twitter that the company is hiring for a new “products business.”
Excitement about Nokia products in the blogosphere! We are indeed hiring for new products businesses. https://t.co/OjehqbuBuB
— Sebastian Nyström (@snystrom) August 2, 2014
He does not say exactly what kinds of products Nokia will create in the near future, but speculation is rife that the company is gearing up to make more Android phones. However, this time around, if Nokia goes with Android, it will most likely create pure Android devices with Google’s full app suite and the Play Store included. Nokia’s X Android line did not offer either or these features and instead relied heavily on Microsoft’s services.
Even if Nokia doesn’t return to the Android smartphone business, it will most likely continue creating Android apps like the Z Launcher, which is still in beta testing. After all, it is looking for designers and application engineers, too. Either way, it looks as though Nokia is looking to make a comeback.