Nokia’s return to smartphones is probably one of the most awaited moments that will happen in 2017, and it could under the right circumstances be bigger than the Galaxy S8 or the 10th anniversary iPhone. Rumours about Android powered Nokia phones have been around long before Nokia had to sell off it’s mobile division to Microsoft and the rumours didn’t die even after the company sold out.
After announcing its plans to return to tablets and phones back in May, today, Finnish company HMD Global has officially announced its entry into the mobile market with Nokia-branded phones. The first Nokia-branded Android smartphones will be available in the first half of 2017, HMD said in a press statement on Thursday.
HMD has secured exclusive licensing rights to Nokia’s branding for 10 years. “HMD has today announced the completion of transactions between HMD, FIH Mobile Limited (a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industries trading as Foxconn Technology Group) and Microsoft, which means that HMD can begin operations as the new home of Nokia phones,” Nokia said in a statement.
“Under the agreement, Nokia will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of every Nokia branded mobile phone and tablet, covering both brand and intellectual property rights,” the statement added.
HMD Global is helmed by Arto Nummela, who made the switch from Microsoft. Before that, he was at Nokia, where he held several product creation, business management, sales and marketing roles. He’s eager to restart the Nokia brand:
Today marks a happy and important day for HMD. Nokia has been one of the most iconic and recognisable phone brands globally for decades. The excitement of re-introducing this much-loved, well-known and trusted brand to smartphone consumers is a responsibility and an ambition that everyone at HMD shares.
We see this as a brilliant opportunity to solve real life consumer problems and to deliver on the quality and designs that the Nokia brand has been always known for. Our talented and passionate team is uniquely placed in this modern setup to deliver our promise of reliable, beautifully crafted and fun Nokia phones for consumers across the globe.
Nokia’s website now shows a dedicated ‘Phones’ section listing a limited selection of phones but that should change once Nokia’s Android powered smartphones make an appearance. Nokia still has a strong brand cachet, particularly in emerging markets such as India.
With HMD taking charge, it makes sense if you wonder whether this will just be an altogether different company using Nokia’s brand recognition? As a matter of fact, that could possibly turn out to be true. In the name of nostalgia, I’d wish not.
The company is fielding several ex-Nokia employees though, there’s a really good chance we could see a resurgence of one of the most iconic brands in this industry.
Whether this attempt succeeds or falls apart, it will definitely be something we’ll watch videos about years later. What do you think?