The former smartphone king, Nokia is set to return as a smartphone brand


Few years ago, Nokia had a non-compete deal with Microsoft, this deal hindered Nokia from selling phones until the fourth quarter of 2016. Now the Finnish company is preparing for a come back and soon Nokia brands will be available.

Nokia intends to license its brand to a Helsinki-based company run by former Nokia managers, HMD Global Oy, this company plans to invests about $500 million to bring Nokia brands (mobile phones and tablets) to the market. Although Nokia won’t have a financial stake in the venture, HMD will pay Nokia royalty fees for using the brand name.

HMD plans on making smartphones running Android, and also tablets and feature phones. The company will be in charge of designing, making and selling the devices, said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia’s IP-licensing business. Even though Nokia doesn’t have a financial stake in the venture, it will ensure the firm follows broad product guidelines, he said. For now it isn’t known what types of phones would be made or in which markets they would be sold.

Nokia had been one of the major brands in the smartphone industry, responsible for some of the most memorable cell phones in history, until 2014 when a deal was signed with Microsoft to produce devices running Windows Phone exclusively for two years. This started the Lumia line of devices, now the deal between Microsoft and Nokia has ended, with HMD acquiring the rights for the next decade.

This keeps Nokia and HMD in a tough competitive market with smartphone giants such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei Technologies.

It’s going to take more than a well-known brand name in this competitive market. To shake up the market and offer something that excites the fickle market will be difficult.

Annette Zimmermann
Smartphone analyst at research firm Gartner in Germany

This comeback effort will definitely excite Nokia fans such as myself, and will also be a second chance for Nokia, which once dominated global smartphone sales. We’ll have to wait and see what they have in-store for us.

Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational communications and information technology company, founded in 1865. Nokia’s dominance extended into the smartphone industry through its Symbian platform, but it was soon overshadowed by the growing dominance of Apple’s iPhone line and Android devices. Nokia eventually entered into a pact with Microsoft in 2011 to exclusively use its Windows Phone platform on future smartphones. In September 2013, Microsoft announced that it would acquire Nokia’s mobile phone business as part of an overall deal totaling €5.44 billion (US $7.17 billion). Nokia is headquartered in Espoo, Uusimaa, in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area.

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