How Nokia Makes Money Off Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Huawei Even Today

Finnish Giant Nokia may have long relinquished its title as the world's best-selling handset brand -- but the company continues to make big money from the smartphone industry even if today's Nokia-branded mobile devices aren't particularly the top-selling ones in their categories.

How does Nokia do it, you ask?

Simple: Through their numerous mobile technology patents.

Nokia Logo, Nokia Brand, Nokia

When Nokia was the world's #1 handset maker, the company made a very wise move in investing heavily in the research and development of mobile innovations as well as in the patent application of all their inventions.

Incredibly, Nokia has invested more than €129 Billion Euros in R&D over the last two decades and has collected over 20,000 patent families with an excess of 3,500 relating to 5G, which has yet to be adapted globally!

Each time a mobile company uses technology or innovation developed and patented by Nokia on their smartphones, that brand would have to pay Nokia royalties. Essentially, that's how Nokia continues to collect money from top smartphone brands of today, including Samsung, OPPO, and Huawei.

And that's how Nokia will continue to earn from the smartphone industry even if the current top players are superseded by new ones. Unless, of course, they start developing and using other mobile innovations that are not in any way similar to what Nokia had already patented.

Just last March 11, 2020, Nokia and Samsung signed a new patent licensing agreement for video standards, following the various patent-licensing expansion and extension deals that they co-signed in 2013, 2016, and 2018.

In November 2018, OPPO signed an agreement with Nokia to license the Finnish company's mobile connectivity patents for use on the Chinese company's smartphones.

On March 23, 2017, Apple and Nokia ended their battles in court over intellectual property and agreed to do business with each other through mutual support of their products. Under their new agreement, Nokia will provide certain network infrastructure product and services to the Cupertino company while  Apple continue carrying Nokia digital health products.

In December 2017, even Nokia's erstwhile rival in the telecommunications network equipment business - Huawei - had to sign a deal with the Finland-based company for use of their patented mobile innovations.

On July 5, 2017, disruptive tech giant Xiaomi also had to formalize a deal with Nokia for the use of the Finnish brand's patented handset technologies.

Nokia's extremely vast patent catalog includes innovations that help conserve smartphone battery life, improve radio reception on handsets, and minimize the need for many separate hardware components on mobile devices. HMD Global, which handles the marketing and distribution of today Nokia-branded smartphones, has nothing to do with Nokia's patent deals.

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