Nokia may outsource Windows Phone manufacturing

A new report suggests a very out-of-the-ordinary move for Nokia.

Respected industry trade publication Digitimes has it on good authority that Nokia has entered into a licensing deal with a company called Compal Communications.

That means Compal will have the ability to create and manufacture phones bearing the Nokia logo and using Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.

That move would seem to be at odds with Nokia’s long heralded tradition of being its own proprietary manufacturer. Part of what made Nokia such a strong company for so long was that it was able to achieve economies of scale by doing all of that work internally, and because it developed some of the world’s most unique and ergonomic devices on the market.

Giving the keys to some other company to do that is a peculiar decision. However, with Nokia, all cards are on the table at this point. Just a few short years ago, the mere idea of the company using someone else’s operating system would have seemed laughable. Nokia’s Symbian platform was not only the operating system for virtually every Nokia phone, but it was also licensed out to other phone manufacturers. Nokia was both a hardware and software company.

But it just hasn’t been able to keep up with Android and the iPhone, and it has fallen down from its position as the #1 mobile phone manufacturer in the world – a position that seemed almost unlosable before the advent of Android.

So anything is possible, and Nokia surely wants as many advantages as it can have, so opening up licensing to another company may help breathe new life as it begins a new chapter in its corporate history.