Nokia on its phones return: ‘It’s complicated’

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Since it sold its devices business to Microsoft two years ago, analysts and tech fans have been constantly asking when Nokia would return to the phone business.

The Finnish telecoms maker posted a blog entry this week aiming to address that question. The answer: "It's complicated".

"For 14 years Nokia was the biggest cell phone maker in the world, and the brand became a household name," Robert Morlino, the spokesperson behind the post wrote, explaining that he understands why people ask about Nokia's return to phones.

Morlino said that Nokia would return to phones, but not in the same form as when it was the market leader.

"The right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model. That means identifying a partner that can be responsible for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product," he wrote.

This would mean Nokia would produce the designs and technology while another company would manufacture and sell the devices which would bear the Nokia name. Before, Nokia manufactured its own devices.

That tactic makes sense given the fact that when Microsoft bought Nokia's devices unit for $7.2 billion in 2013, it also took the manufacturing, marketing and distribution needed to sell phones.

Also, under the Microsoft deal, the Finnish firm is not allowed to return to the phone market until the fourth quarter of 2016.

"So it's safe to say Nokia won't be back (at least in phone form...) before then," the blog post said.