Nokia confirms may re-enter mobile phone market through licensing

The Nokia company logo is pictured at its headquarters in Espoo January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish telecoms network maker Nokia confirmed late on Monday that it may start designing and licensing mobile phone handsets under its brand name in 2016.

Nokia said it was looking for a partner who would take on the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for the products.

The company said a Nokia mobile phone would not reach the market before the fourth quarter of 2016 when Nokia’s agreement with partner Microsoft allows it to use the brand name again.

Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014 after years of declining sales.

Reporting by Anna Ercanbrack; Editing by Daniel Dickson