Nokia is dead, long live Newkia

Jordan O'Brien
September 5, 2013

Nokia has just been acquired for $7.2 billion by its long-standing partner Microsoft, and it seems that a Singaporean based company isn’t pleased with that deal — launching a new company called Newkia.

Speaking to ZDNET, former CEO of Nokia Asia-Pacific, Thomas Zilliacus, expressed his displeasure with the deal, claiming “Nokia, which only three years ago was the world’s runaway market leader in mobile phones, is today a small and insignificant brand.”

Zilliacus blames the failure on Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop and the Windows Phone Operating System.

This isn’t the first time Zilliacus has spoken strongly against his former employer, given just a year ago he tried to buy out Nokia in order to steer the company in a new direction, with Android as its OS of choice.

Many people have echoed the thoughts of Zilliacus since the announcement of Nokia’s switch to Windows Phone, with some consumers bemused by the choice.

Eventually Zilliacus failed to raise enough funds to buy Nokia, and has decided to form a new company called Newkia.

Newkia’s aim is to build an Android smartphone using the talents of Nokia employees — of which Zilliacus still thinks are world class, specifically highlighting the remarkable Lumia series.

Whilst Newkia is only a few days old, Zilliacus has already claimed that several former Nokia employees have jumped on-board, and he expects many more to do so.

“I know Nokia employees who are keen to develop for Android and maybe would like to join us,” he said.”

Currently Newkia is based in Singapore, but it envisions a future of bases in several locations — including a significant presence in Nokia’s homeland, Finland.

If you’re hoping for a Newkia Android phone in the west though, you may find yourself disappointed — with Zilliacus confirming that his target is Asia, but did not dismiss a Western release.

Whether or not Newkia can take on the likes of the big boys such as Nokia and Samsung remains to be seen, but Zilliacus doesn’t want to do it by acquiring Blackberry.

When asked about a Blackberry acquisition, Zilliacus said “BlackBerry has is no longer unique,” noting the gap between it and other market players.

It seems like hope for a Nokia Android phone could be on the horizon, but it will likely carry the Newkia brand.

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

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