Microsoft sells the Nokia feature phone business to Foxconn
Foxconn will also manufacture Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets
Microsoft, Nokia and Foxconn have reached an agreement about transferring the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft to a Foxconn subsidiary that will be responsible for manufacturing, sales and distribution of basic phones (non-smartphones). Meanwhile, Nokia has also licensed the its name to Foxconn for developing smartphones and tablets based on Android.
“In an effort to further focus on products where we offer unique differentiation and that run Windows, Microsoft is selling its entry-level feature phone assets, including Microsoft Mobile Vietnam—its Hanoi, Vietnam manufacturing facility—to FIH Mobile Ltd., a subsidiary of Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group, and HMD Global, Oy. Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950, and Lumia 950 XL, and phones from OEM partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity and VAIO.”
As you probably know, Microsoft owns the rights to use the Nokia name for basic phones until 2015, and for smartphones until the end of this year. That means from January 1st Nokia is free to re-enter the smartphone market with own devices.
Meanwhile. Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and plans to support existing and future handsets by OEMs. The company is also expected to ditch the Lumia name for smartphones from 2017 when we should see the first models from the Surface line-up. That would be the end of the former Nokia’s Device & Service division acquired by Microsoft for $7.2 billion in 2014.