Nokia is planning to get back into the smartphone business almost a year after Microsoft acquired its devices and services business, according to a new report from Re/code.
The company is working on a variety of projects, including new smartphones and a project involving virtual reality, according to unnamed sources briefed on the company’s plans. According to the report, the efforts are coming from Nokia Technologies, one of the leftover pieces of the company after the acquisition best known for licensing Nokia’s extensive patent portfolio.
It will be a while before we see any new Nokia smartphones, though: under the Microsoft deal, the company is prohibited from selling any phones under the Nokia brand until 2016. Once that prohibition lifts, though, the company should be ready to get its brand back into the world of producing phones.
Richard Kerris, a former Nokia exec who left the company last year, told Re/code that the company “has a lot of great stuff in development,” and it’s not going away any time soon. Nokia isn’t all that rusty when it comes to launching new devices. Last year, the company launched an Android tablet called the N1 just in time for holiday shopping.
Last week, Nokia announced a $16.6 billion deal to acquire Alcatel-Lucent, a French telecommunications company that may help it with future plans to build services for mobile phones.
Microsoft, for its part, has transitioned away from branding its Windows Phone handsets with the Nokia label. Now, those devices are only marketed under the Lumia brand with a Microsoft logo on the back of their cases.