Fans of Nokia’s hardware and design have long-hoped the Finnish OEM would part ways with Windows Phone and embrace Android, but Microsoft’s acquisition of the company’s mobile division brutally shattered those dreams. That’s where Thomas Zilliacus comes in. The former Nokia employee hopes start fresh with Newkia and get it right this time.
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.
“I strongly believe Nokia still has the best know-how in terms of mobile phones and we want to get the best people to join us,” he told ZDNet. All that’s missing is Android.
Newkia will target the Asian market—like pretty much every other smartphone maker today—but hopefully its Android handsets will be available in the U.S. as well. Zilliacus says he hopes to release his first device within a year, but acknowledges that before his team can get to work he’ll need to raise the necessary funds.