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Nokia returns to mobile market with N1 Android tablet

Nokia returns to mobile market with N1 Android tablet

Nokia has returned to the mobile device market with the N1, the first Nokia-branded Android tablet. Designed by Nokia and running its Nokia Z Launcher interface, the tablet is built under a brand-licensing agreement with an unnamed OEM responsible for manufacturing, distribution and sales. The tablet will launch in Q1 2015 in China, for a recommended price of USD 249 before taxes. Nokia said it aims to expand sales to other markets later. 

According to the company, the N1 was designed with simplicity in mind. The Z Launcher allows users to scribble a letter or two to find their content quickly. Over time the Z Launcher learns what applications are in use, and predicts and highlights the applications consumers are expected to want based on time of day and location. The tablet features a 7.9-inch display, one-piece aluminum body, a 2.4Ghz Intel Atom quad-core processor and the Android Lollipop operating system. 

In addition to the Nokia brand, Nokia is licensing the industrial design, Z Launcher software layer and IP on a running royalty basis to the OEM partner. Ramzi Haidamus, Nokia’s technology chief, told the Financial Times that Foxconn will be the manufacturing partner. It will be responsible for full business execution, from engineering and sales to customer care, including liabilities and warranty costs, inbound IP and software licensing and contractual agreements with third parties. 

Nokia agreed to license its brand to Microsoft for mobile phones until 2016, as part of the sale of its mobile phone business to the company. However, licensing its IP is a key part of the new Nokia’s growth strategy, and nothing prohibits it from licensing the brand for other products. Microsoft has already said it plans to use its own brand and the Lumia name for future mobile phones. Haidamus told the FT that the company plans more Nokia-branded devices in additional form factors. Once the Microsoft licensing deal expires, it also plans to license the Nokia brand for mobile phones made by other companies. 

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