Many people didn’t like Nokia’s decision to sell its handset business to Microsoft. Nokia’s both existing and former employees were among the most vocal opponents of the deal, and one of them wants to do something about it.
His name is Thomas Zilliacus and for seven years, he served as the Finnish company’s Asia-Pacific CEO. He’s now looking to launch a new company called Newkia, and offer solidly built devices running Android.
The Singapore-based startup was founded on the same day Microsoft announced its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business, effectively putting an end to a long history of Nokia and Lumia-branded handsets. Zilliacus, who served as the company’s Asia-Pacific CEO for 15 years before leaving in 1993, may be a bit out of touch with the company’s current inner-workings, but he plans to rectify that by hiring Nokia employees who always wanted to make an Android smartphone.
To fulfil his vision of making a Nokia-like Android phone, he plans to hire Nokia employees who have expressed interest in developing for Android. He already has some ex-staff on board, and wants to hire more. “What Newkia wants to do is to use Nokia know-how, technology, and design to build the world’s best smartphones, but running on Android,” he said.
According to Newkia’s founder and CEO, Newkia phones will be available in Asia, Europe and gradually make way to the US markets.
Newkia plans to launch its first device within a year, though it still needs to raise a substantial amount of cash and gather some top talent to create a compelling product. R&D will be done in Finland, while the company will operate from Singapore, primarily serving the Asian audience. We’ll be watching this space and get back to you as soon as there’s something new to add. Stay tuned…