Earlier this year, Nokia’s CEO confirmed its return to the smartphone business by formally announcing a partnership with Finnish firm HMD Global, which will manufacture smartphones running Android as well as feature phones under the Nokia brand as part of a ten-year licensing deal.
Today, Nokia announced that its agreement with HMD has officially “come into force” with the first batch of Android smartphones bearing the Nokia name making their debut in the first half of 2017.
With immediate effect, HMD Global will own the existing Nokia branded feature phone business and continue to market them as part of an integrated portfolio. They will also be leading the new range of smartphones and tablets launched in near future.
“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. Moreover, Nokia is not an investor or shareholder in HMD” and “HMD has developed a unique strategic partnership model that will see it working with some of the world’s leading technology companies including Nokia, FIH Mobile Limited (FIH) and Google. Future Nokia smartphones will utilise Google’s Android operating system”, the company said in a press note.
With the announcement, one can see the Nokia branded phones listed on the Nokia official website. Nokia in the website states that the company is “unlocking new and extraordinary possibilities for billions of people.” However, only the existing range of Nokia feature phones is available as of now – many of which were actually launched by Microsoft on the site. You can now find support information for each of them on Nokia.com too along with details of those devices.
HMD Global’s CEO, Arto Nummela, who was previously the Vice President for Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East, and Africa stated:
“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.
Driven by the extremely positive reception we have received since HMD was announced earlier this year, we are excited about building the next chapter for Nokia phones. 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.”
Brad Rodrigues, Interim President of Nokia Technologies, said, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown around the world for the return of the Nokia brand to smartphones. The HMD Global team has the ambition, talent and resources to bring a new generation of Nokia branded phones to market, and we wish them every success. I’m sure our millions of Nokia fans will be excited to see their new products!”
There are already hints of what we can expect next year. The site says Nokia is, “busy working on smartphones running Android,” and that it’s, “just getting started, with new smartphones coming in 2017.”