A report last week stated that Nokia was planning to return to the smartphone game when its non-compete with Microsoft ended on December 31st, 2015. But a statement released today by Nokia flat-out denies the report, describing it as false and inaccurate.
The statement is blunt, and to the point:
Nokia notes recent news reports claiming the company communicated an intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China. These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive.
Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.
Re/code’s article that started the rumors speculated that Nokia’s plan for the future revolved around designing exciting devices, then licensing the designs — and Nokia’s famous name — to a Chinese manufacturing outfit. Nokia’s statement pours cold water over that idea — but, that one word “currently” does open the door just a fraction. A Nokia revival is looking pretty damn unlikely (though not impossible) at this point.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the road for the Finnish paper-manufacturer. Nokia is still working on projects not directly related to smartphones, like the HERE mapping, network infrastructure hardware, and even virtual reality. Snake in stereoscopic 3-D? Yes please. [Nokia]