Nokia — not the handset business that Microsoft bought and renamed Microsoft Mobile, but the remaining Finnish firm — has made a shock announcement. It’s launched an Android tablet called the N1.
This will be confusing, because Microsoft is also selling a Nokia-branded Windows tablet, the Nokia Lumia 2520. It’s a shock, because while Nokia has recently made rumblings about its brand returning to the consumer market, it seemed to indicate that this would merely be a matter of licensing the brand to others.
Now we know more about that strategy. The industrial design for the N1 came from Nokia, but the company is no longer in the manufacturing business and has licensed that design — along with its Z Launcher and various intellectual property — to Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, which rather interestingly will handle distribution and sales and customer care, and will even be responsible for liabilities and…