Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri confirmed the rumors that have been swirling around the company for a few months, and said that next year the company will re-enter the mobile phone market by licensing its brands and designs.
Microsoft is reshuffling its leadership team, and devices chief Stephen Elop is leaving the company as part of the shakeup. Elop, a Microsoft executive who had been CEO of Nokia, returned to Microsoft when the software giant completed its acquisition of Nokia's handset business in April 2014.
BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft reiterated that it will release at least one flagship Windows phone when it rolls out Windows 10 later this year, even as the company unveiled new mid-range Windows smartphones, the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, here at Mobile World Congress.
Microsoft released an early "technical preview" version of Windows 10 for smartphones to those who have registered for its "Insider" program, but only made the software builds available to customers with a few mid-range, Lumia-branded Windows Phones.
Microsoft sold a record 10.5 million Lumia-branded Windows Phones in the fourth quarter, but is still dealing with the hangover of integrating Nokia's devices and services business.
Sprint is making good on its promise to support Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, and today announced it will sell the mid-range Lumia 635.
Nokia is set to re-enter the mobile devices market in the first quarter of 2015 with a new tablet PC running the Android operating system.
Microsoft released its first Lumia-branded smartphone without the Nokia name on it, the Lumia 535, and is clearly pushing the entry-level phone toward emerging markets. The Lumia 535, which will debut for $137 (€110) before taxes and subsidies, is not the cheapest Lumia phone Microsoft has introduced but it is among them. It also boasts improved specifications compared with similarly priced Windows Phones.
Microsoft is indicating that next week it will unveil its first Lumia-branded smartphone without the Nokia moniker attached, and early rumors are that it will be entry-level device aimed at the mass market.
Microsoft reported a jump in smartphone sales for the third quarter and also confirmed it will put its own brand name in place of the Nokia brand on its Lumia Windows Phone smartphones going forward.