Nokia, the Finnish company that was once popular for making Symbian based smartphones, today announced that it will be making a return to the smartphone and tablet market. The company itself will not be manufacturing phones, but it has granted HMD, a new company “led by some of the world’s top mobile specialists,” the license to manufacture and sell Nokia-branded smartphones, tablets, and even feature phones for the next 10 years.
HMD will be acquiring the rights from Microsoft by the second half of 2016, and the company intends to invest over 500 million over the next 3 years for marketing of its Nokia-branded devices. Once the acquisition is complete, HMD will be led by Arto Nummela, who was previously at Nokia and is currently the head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa.
All the new devices will be based on Android. Nokia says in its announcement that HMD still has a lot of work to do, so it is going to be sometime before we see the first wave of Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets making their way to the market. Nokia will not be investing any money in HMD and will instead be receiving royalty payments from the latter for sales of Nokia-branded devices.
Additionally, FIH Mobile Limited, a part of Foxconn Technology, will be acquiring the remaining part of Microsoft’s feature phone business assets, including manufacturing, sales and distribution.
Are you excited about Nokia returning to the smartphone and tablet market? While the company will not be manufacturing the phones itself, its expertise should help HMD in building phones that will at least look unique and different.