Nokia surprised the tech world yesterday by announcing a new Android tablet, the Nokia N1. No, this is not a Microsoft Nokia tablet, it’s a Nokia-proper tablet. Well, not really. Since Nokia sold their mobile device manufacturing unit to Microsoft, Nokia can’t build a tablet all by themselves. The solution? Get FoxConn to make your device for you, just like Apple does. Though with the Nokia N1 tablet, FoxConn is taking on a larger role. They will not only build it, but deal with distribution and support. Nokia have basically just licensed a design and the Nokia name to FoxConn to use.
So why has Nokia done this? Microsoft are now starting to produce phones that no longer carrier the Nokia name, so this maybe an attempt by Nokia to keep the name going while they wait until 2016 when, under the sale agreement with Microsoft, Nokia can start producing its own phones again. This FoxConn deal might point the way as to how Nokia are going to get back in the game, by being more like Apple. Focus on the design and the software and let somebody else worry about building the hardware.