Nokia confirms it’ll start making Android phones in 2016

Reports earlier this week suggested Nokia may make a return to the smartphone market with new Android handsets next year.

Now the President of Nokia China, Mike Wang, appears to have confirmed the speculation, according to reports (via GforGames) emanating from the far east.

The company, or what’s left of it following the Microsoft buyout, will use its Chinese factories to build the Android phones, while also shifting its global R&D operations to Sichuan, according to the report.

The move is likely to see the new Nokia focus on the Chinese market, taking on budget manufacturers like ZTE and Oppo, although a western rollout isn’t out of the question.

The Finnish company is currently prohibited from making smartphones under the terms of its agreement with Microsoft, but that restriction will expire next year.

The new devices will mark the return of perhaps the most iconic brand name of the mobile phone era. A comeback will also realise the desires of long-time fans who’d always hoped Nokia would jump into bed with the Android operating system.

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The company already has already made the Android-packing Nokia N1 tablet for sale this year, while the only other notable foray, the Nokia X, proved a disappointment as it was effectively the Windows Phone UI running on a forked version of Android.

Read more: Nokia N1 vs Nexus 9: Android tablets compared

Many observers felt Nokia’s future would have been a lot brighter had it sided with Android, as Samsung and HTC did, back in the early smartphone era.

Instead, the Nokia brass decided to throw its eggs in the Windows Phone basket with the Lumia range of smartphones. That move wasn’t too kind to Nokia as it ended up selling out to Microsoft for a knock-down fee in 2013.