Nokia Denies Report That It Will Return To Consumer Smartphone Market

That was fast. Less than a week after Re/code broke so-called news out of China that Nokia was returning to the phone manufacturing fold via its patent licensing division Nokia Technologies, the Finland-based company has issued a statement via their website denying its intent to re-enter the cell phone space in which they for so long ruled.

"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."

The Re/code report ignited a wildfire of stories to the same effect, of course, all of which underlines the reasoning behind the short and succinct statement issued by Nokia today. After all, it was just a year ago that Nokia completed the sale of its mobile phone unit to Microsoft for the cool sum of $7.2 billion, and the terms of that deal stipulate that Nokia refrain from re-entering the mobile phone business the end of 2015 and that the company refrain from licensing technology for that purpose until Q3 2016.

With that understood, the company continues to look down the mobile phone road, saying that it is looking at brand-licensing as a path for eventually returning to the phone business, with Nokia Technologies head of products telling Reuters last November, "It would be crazy not to look at that opportunity. Of course we will look at it."

Along with handling patent licensing, Nokia Technologies also spearheads the N1 tablet (produced under license by Taiwan's Foxconn), and the predictive Nokia Z Launcher interface. And earlier this month the company announced that for $16.5 billion it would be acquiring France's Alcatel-Lucent in a bid to enhance its mainstay network equipment business.