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:
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:
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?
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.