Nokia has been one of the leaders in smartphone innovation for a long time, before the Finnish giant lost out to iPhone and Android, so much so that the whole hardware division of Nokia was acquired by Microsoft just a few days ago. I have personally always strongly believed that Nokia would’ve done well to keep up with the changing market trend and combined their remarkable hardware with Google’s open source Android to make the perfect smartphone. While that never happened owing to the company’s partnership with Microsoft, it might come true now, as Nokia’s Asia Pacific (former) CEO, Thomas Zilliacus, has spun off a new company from Nokia with the aim to do just that.
The new company, named Newkia (pun might be intended), comprises a slew of other former Nokia employees who have one goal in mind – build better Android phones. Zilliacus claims that he’d been aiming to buy out Nokia for a while now, but had never been able to raise the required funds on his own, and certainly never enough to outbid the Redmond giant. However, now, with the start of his own Newkia, he believes they’ll be easily able to raise enough capital, owing largely to the fact that a lot of potential investors see a lot of future for a combination of Nokia-standard hardware with Android’s open source nature.
Newkia’s plans aim towards making the company functional and productive by 2014, which can potentially imply a Newkia device out and about in the market as early as summer next year. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but it doesn’t hurt to speculate.
The interesting aspect to the whole story is the fact that technically, Microsoft’s acquisition remains restricted to Nokia’s hardware manufacture division, exclusive of Nokia’s patent portfolio. The Redmond company holds licensing to use Nokia’s patents, sure, but at the same time, with the current conditions of the deal, cannot prevent other companies from licensing those as well. This could mean that we would one day see an Android phone touting Nokia’s PureView technology, which is unarguably the best camera on a smartphone to date.
Historically, it has always been the case for even manufacturers like Samsung and HTC, who have, at some point, tried their luck with Windows Phone, to gain more success with Android over WP. What remains to be seen is whether Nokia would license such high-end patents to a potential direct competitor of Microsoft past the deal that has already taken place. We’ve seen weirder things happen in the past, so who knows. Time will tell.