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​Nokia denies plans to re-enter consumer phone market

Nokia will not be returning to the smartphone market in 2016, despite reports, the company has said.

Nokia has released a statement clarifying that it has no plans to re-enter the consumer phone market.

The company reiterated that it will not be manufacturing or selling any consumer handsets, after reports suggested that the Finnish company's handset business, now owned by Microsoft, is planning to return to the smartphone market in 2016.

"Nokia notes recent news reports claiming the company communicated an intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China. These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive," Nokia said in a statement.

When Nokia's handset business was acquired by Microsoft in 2013 for $7.2 billion, the company's devices and services business became branded under Microsoft's subsidiary, Microsoft Mobile Oy, which eventually saw the Nokia brand phased out from the Lumia smartphone range.

The only presence Nokia retains in the smartphone market is on the Here mapping platform. However, Nokia confirmed that it is looking to sell Here, a business currently valued at $2.1 billion, and the likely buyer may be Microsoft.

Here is one of three business units that Nokia still owns. Overall last year, it earned 10 percent of Nokia's €970 million in net sales; however, with relatively high R&D expenses of €540 million, the unit made a €32 million loss, which was down significantly on the €154 million loss in 2013.