Baring any unforeseen circumstances, the Nokia brand (that ruled the world of mobile phones at a time) will be returning to the consumer market soon but this time with phones & tablets running Android OS.
The new set of devices, which will be created by Helsinki-headquartered HMD Global, a new private venture, might become available before the year runs out.
This is because the strategic licensing agreement HMD signed with Nokia technologies, the advanced tech unit of Nokia Corporation, is expected to close in the second half of 2016.
The agreement gives HMD the power to use the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next decade.
The company will continue where the old Nokia stopped. It will deliver beautifully designed, high quality products to consumers worldwide in line with Nokia’s brand promise.
In the next three years, the company will invest over US$500 million to support the global marketing of the new Nokia brand.
“We will be completely focused on creating a unified range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, which we know will resonate with consumers,” said Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global.
He added, “We will work with world class manufacturing and distribution providers to move quickly and deliver what customers want.”
If you recall, Microsoft bought Nokia’s Devices and Services business in 2014. At the time, the company hoped the deal would bring about the transformation of its Devices Group, especially Lumia smartphones and tablets.
This hasn’t particularly happened – Android led the smartphone market share as at Q2 2015 followed by iOS – and has led Microsoft to sell its entry-level feature phone assets to FIH Mobile Ltd and HMD Global for US$350 million.
The deal also includes the sale of Nokia trademark on feature phones until 2024, and design rights relating to Microsoft’s Feature Phone Business, to HMD Global.
These agreements – that of Nokia technologies and Microsoft – makes HMD the sole global licensee for all types of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.
The first, and last, Nokia phone I used was the X2. It wasn’t the best Nokia phone at the time but I enjoyed using it and apps like ebuddy made the ride worthwhile.
Personally, I really can’t wait to see what HMD Global would offer consumers leveraging the Nokia brand, especially since it will be churning out devices running on Android, which has literally taken over the mobile OS space.
President of Nokia Technologies, Ramzi Haidamus said,“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name. Instead of Nokia returning to manufacturing mobile phones itself, HMD plans to produce mobile phones and tablets that can leverage and grow the value of the Nokia brand in global markets. Working with HMD and FIH will let us participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world while staying true to our licensing business model.”