On Monday, Nokia made it clear that it will return to the smartphone market once it is legally allowed to do so during the fourth quarter of 2016. Microsoft's purchase of Nokia Devices and Services included a non-compete clause that expires during next year's Q4. Nokia said in its statement on Monday that it is looking for a "world-class partner" to manufacture, market and sell Nokia branded phones. In addition, customer support would be the responsibility of Nokia's partner.
Under this partnership, Nokia would be responsible for coming up with the design and the technology that would differentiate the phones from the competition's handsets. But the big question is, which company will emerge as Nokia's partner? We might have the answer. On Tuesday, Meizu turned to its Weibo page to welcome Nokia back to the world of smartphones. Later the same day, Meizu posted another tweet showing Thursday's date (716) with the numbers 1110 on the bottom.
Is Meizu the "world-class" partner that Nokia seeks? Earlier this year, Meizu teased a phone that would be "Meizu powered by Nokia." That device was said to be called the Meizu MX4 Supreme, and has yet to be announced. A teaser for the MX4 Supreme posted on Weibo in March, was just as confusing as Tuesday's teasers as it mentioned the unannounced Nokia Lumia 1030.
One late thought. 716 could also mean July 2016 which actually seems more likely to be when a Meizu-Nokia team would be announced, considering that the non-compete clause doesn't expire until the last quarter of 2016.