Nokia is back in the smartphone business, but not the way it used to be. The Finnish company prefers to license the right to use its brand to other companies that are willing to dedicate the resources needed to design, manufacture and distribute a Nokia-branded smartphone.
HMD Global is the company that purchased the license to launch Nokia-branded phones for the next 10 years or so, and the first products have already been released on the market.
However, few know that Nokia owns another smartphone brand, which was acquired only recently. Many of you have probably heard about Alcatel, the company that sells decent, affordable smartphones and tablets.
It's common knowledge that the Chinese company TCL, the same that now owns the license to launch BlackBerry-branded phones, is also releasing Alcatel devices.
Well, it appears that the Alcatel smartphone brand is in fact owned by Nokia from the moment the company acquired the French network infrastructure provider Alcatel-Lucent.
Alcatel-Lucent offered TCL the license to launch Alcatel smartphones and tablets until 2024, but when the French company was acquired by Nokia, it came along with the Alcatel brand as well.
The folks over at NPU have reached out to Nokia to shed some light on the subject and here is what the company had to say about the matter:
“The Alcatel brand was licensed by Alcatel-Lucent to TCL for mobile phones and devices and this license expires at the end of 2024. When Nokia acquired the assets of Alcatel-Lucent in 2016, this also included licensing agreements for the Alcatel brand.”
Even though it makes perfect sense, Nokia has never mentioned it's the owner of the Alcatel smartphone brand when it acquired Alcatel-Lucent back in 2015. Not that it would have mattered, but it's kind of surprising to find out after two years.