Nokia denied rumors that it had plans to return to manufacturing mobile phones in a statement posted on its website Sunday. The Finnish communications and information technology company sold its smartphone business to Microsoft in 2014, agreeing that it would not re-enter that business before 2016.
"Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets," the statement reads. Rumors last week indicated a potential partnership between Nokia and Taiwan's Foxconn on licensing phone designs.
Nokia can return to the market through brand-licensing, however.
Nokia in November launched the N1 tablet, manufactured by Foxconn. After its debut, Sebastian Nystrom, Nokia's head of product, said the company was considering more devices. "With the agreement with Microsoft, as is customary, we have this transition and we can't do smartphones," Nystrom told Reuters. "We have a time limit. In 2016 we can again enter that business."
Still, Nokia has been far from quiet. Earlier this month, it acquired Alcatel-Lucent, a French network equipment maker, for $15.6 billion, and is reportedly working to sell its mapping and location business called HERE. Alibaba, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Uber have been mentioned as possible buyers.