HELSINKI — Nokia is back in the fray.
Just months after selling its ailing handsets unit to Microsoft, the Finnish company is planning to bring its brand back to consumers with a new tablet.
This time the device operates Android instead of the Windows software that Nokia adopted on its cellphones when it started a strategic partnership with Microsoft in 2011.
Sebastian Nystrom from Nokia’s technologies unit said Tuesday that the former global mobile phone leader was “pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers’ hands.”
Using Android, he said, will give Nokia access to some 80 percent of the world’s mobile consumers compared with just the 2.5 percent who use the Windows mobile devices.
Five months after completing the purchase of Nokia’s handsets, Microsoft last week unveiled its first Lumia smartphone under its own brand name. The company has released a few Lumia models since it bought Nokia’s phone business, but those models still carried the Nokia brand.
Since the $7.2 billion sale of its mobile phone unit, the slimmed-down Nokia has become much more profitable thanks to its three remaining operations: networks, HERE mapping services and software.
It is one of the few computerized roadmap providers in the world and the only one with a long history of working with automotive companies. HERE has an 80 percent market share for embedded automotive maps.
Nokia said that the 7.9-inch N1 tablet will first be available in China in the first quarter of 2015 with an approximate price tag of $250, before being introduced to other markets.
After the announcement, the company’s share price was up more than 1.6 percent at 6.31 euros.
BY MATTI HUUHTANEN, Associated Press