Nokia, once the world’s largest maker of mobile phones is preparing to make a comeback, according to recent reports.

The famous Finnish firm sold its handset business to Microsoft in 2013, after succumbing to Apple and Samsung in the rise of smartphones, and turned to focusing on making telecom network equipment, selling largely

to Vodafone and T-Mobile.

Now the mega company is hiring software experts and seeking new sales partners while testing new products as it prepares to re-enter the mobile phone market.

To its benefit, Nokia is the owner one of the largest collections of intellectual property in the mobile phone industry, including patents it never sold when handing over the handset business to Microsoft.

In addition, once it completes the 15.6-billion-euro ($22.4 billion) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent announced in April, the company will be calling on new talent including a U.S. research center whose scientists have won eight Nobel prizes.

This time around, the company is changing their business approach and seeking partners for brand-licensing deals whereby they will design phones with the Nokia brand, and allow other firms to mass-manufacture and market them for a royalty fee.

Brand-licensing deals are less profitable but less risky inn the long run.

"They (Nokia) want to be innovative and seen as a company with long-term vision in the (tech) industry and having a foot in devices plays into this impression, even if it's not bringing massive revenue at the outset," Gartner analyst Sylvain Fabre is quoted as saying in a Toronto Sun article this week.

At its peak, Nokia manufactured more phones than any other mobile company in the world, and employed tens of thousands of people.