Back in May, we heard that HMD Global — a new mobile company made up of ex-Nokia staffers — is looking to use the Nokia name to manufacture smartphones running Android as well as feature phones. Today, HMD has announced that it has secured exclusive licensing rights to Nokia's branding for 10 years.
The first batch of Android smartphones bearing the Nokia name will make their debut in the first half of 2017:
Finnish company HMD will bring a new generation of mobile phones to consumers, with the first smartphone products set to be launched in the first half of 2017, alongside the existing Nokia branded feature phone business.
The launch of HMD comes just six months after the company signed a strategic licensing agreement with Nokia, giving HMD exclusive use of the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next 10 years.
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, currently deployed on 86% of the world's smartphones.
HMD is developing an exciting new consumer centric product range which will focus on innovation, quality and experience, alongside the iconic Nokia mobile phone attributes of design, robustness, and reliability.
The devices will be manufactured by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn that acquired Microsoft's feature phone business earlier this year.
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 still has a strong brand cachet, particularly in emerging markets. With HMD taking charge and the company fielding several ex-Nokia employees, we could see a resurgence of one of the most iconic brands in this industry. Who's excited?