Nokia is coming back to smartphone business, we have been hearing these rumours since the day Microsoft grabbed up Finnish company’s mobile division. In the past two years, many click-bait articles were written about the return of the king but it never happened till now. As on 18th May, Nokia announced its comeback in the smartphone and tablet market with Android OS. This news will surely make some people happy and some not, depending on which side of the line you stand with Nokia’s last time efforts in smartphones (cough Windows Phone).
When the time of moving away from Symbian and Meego came Nokia had two OS as the choice for its future smartphones: Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Well, Nokia chose the latter one. At that time, Microsoft was struggling with its smartphone OS in the market as it was not gaining any traction. OEM partners were making efforts with Windows Phone but those were not enough. With Nokia on board Microsoft finally saw an OEM partner which was making extra efforts with its offering Lumia 900, Lumia 800 were the first WP7 offerings from Nokia.
Although Nokia was the last entrant in the Windows Phone space it was certainly not the least it could do. With its phones which were surely different and had some extras and a loyal fan base, Nokia became the largest Windows Phone manufacturer. Nokia was dominating the Windows Phone market so much that by the time it was bought by Microsoft it had more than 90% market share, even though WP struggled.
In spite of the fact that Windows Phone was Microsoft’s work, it was Nokia that made the OS as a viable third smartphone OS in the market. Many people including me jumped on board to Windows Phone just because there was a Nokia phone on the platform.
Since the time Nokia launched its first Windows Phone 7 device to the time it was bought by Microsoft many things have changed, what has not changed is people wanting to get one more Nokia device to own. This wish of Nokia fans is going to be fulfilled now as Nokia has signed an agreement with HMD Global Oy giving the new firm rights to use Nokia branding for ten years on smartphones and tablets.
Nokia fans rejoice! Soon your favourite brand will be appearing on the shelves. The new Nokia branded smartphones and tablets will be Android based, it is not known will they become another OEM partner for Google or make their OS on Android Open Source like Nokia did before with its Nokia X/XL series.
Even though these smartphones and tablets will be Nokia branded they will not be manufactured by Nokia. All those activities will be taken care by HMD but Nokia will hold a position in HMD board. Along with the Nokia branding, this agreement will also allow HMD to use cellular patents licences for which Nokia will be getting the royalty.
Nokia will also hold a chair in HMD Board of Directors which will
set mandatory brand requirements and performance related provisions to ensure that all Nokia-branded products exemplify consumer expectations of Nokia devices, including quality, design and consumer focused innovation.
HMD would be making $500 million investment in the business over the next three years and this would be done via investors and profits from the newly acquired feature phone business. Nokia will not be making any investment in the new company. Another big news related to this context is that Microsoft has decided to sell its feature phone business to FIH Mobile a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology for $350 million.
FIH and HMD have already done a deal where the sale and marketing of the phones will be done by HMD while FIH will be responsible for the manufacturing of the phones for the new entity. All the details regarding the deal can be found at the source link. The deal is expected to be closed later this year after clearance from authorities.
As of now no ETA is known for when the phones and tablets will be coming out to the market. Rest assured it is not far and we all can soon see what magic the Nokia names brings to the market fingers crossed.