Nokia's rumored return to phones and virtual reality

It's been suggested today by two unnamed informants that Nokia will be returning to the smartphone arena in 2016. How they'll do this, exactly, remains a mystery – especially given their current lack of manufacturing power as a result of their sale to Microsoft back in early 2014. But they've made a tablet since then – right, so what's to stop them from making a collection of smartphones? Nothing, really – they've just got to team up with a manufacturing partner and begin to smash the nail with the hammer, so to speak.

This rumor of Nokia's return to smartphones comes from Re/code, where they've got two unnamed speakers who suggest they've been briefed on Nokia's plans. At this point – with what Nokia has in partnerships, innovation technology, and brand name power – it's mostly a matter of when, not just if, they'll return to the smartphone market.

Nokia retains its massive collection of patents. They've got so many patents, in fact, that the European Commission's head of competition warned them not to become a patent troll after they'd sold their smartphone business to Microsoft.

Nokia is in the business of teaming up and acquiring other businesses at the moment. Acquiring Alcatel-Lucent showed the world that Nokia continues to grow, and that they plan on staying in the smart connected device business.

At the center of this business will be Nokia Technologies.

Inside Nokia Technologies is a collection of patents that numbers in the double-digit thousands. With the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia attains Bell Laboratories and, along with it, an additional 29,000 patents in the telecommunications environment.

Nokia will return to smartphones – you don't need a prophet to tell you that.

It's just a matter of how they'll do it, when, and with what operating system. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Android.

Especially since these same sources suggest Nokia will also be getting into odd projects – like virtual reality. Android already does that – it'll be easy for Nokia to jump in on the fun by 2016, no problem.