Just when you thought they were dead and gone, it seems the legendary brand will soon make a comeback to the smartphone industry, more so on the Android platform.
The news comes at the most unexpected time when everyone's focus is on the Google I/O event
currently taking place. It appears that a twist could soon emerge in the once-upon-a-time mobile giant's fate in the industry. This is after the Finnish company signed a joint strategic deal with HMD global. If you can remember, back in 2011, the Nokia company chose to famously move to Windows Phone as its devices' operating system after it was unable to compete on the same level with Android and iOS. Later in 2014, the Finnish company had its business sold to Microsoft
for a whooping $5.4bn.
This new deal involves Microsoft, Foxconn, Nokia Technologies and HMD global, which is a new Finland-based company. It basically grants the company exclusive rights in the creation of smartphones and tablets featuring the Nokia brand for the next ten years. The deal will apparently be closed by second half of this year.
The upcoming Nokia branded feature smartphone and tablet line-up from HMD will be running on Android. This according to Nokia is the unification of one of the world's iconic brands in the mobile market with a leading mobile OS and app development community.
On the other hand, Microsoft will be selling off the remaining part of its feature phone business that it acquired from Nokia to FIH. FIH is a subsidiary of the popular Foxconn company based in Taiwan, and is set to procure the assets from the feature phone business including manufacturing, sales and production for $350 million.
HMD will reportedly splash $500million in support for the global marketing of mobile phones and tablets branded with the Nokia logo. The funds for this, will be attained from the profits gained from the feature phone business, as well as investors.
Though Nokia will not be contributing its own finances or hold any equity shares in HMD, it will have say in the quality, design and development of all Nokia-branded products. In addition to a seat on HMD's board, it will also be receiving its share of royalties.
Once the deal is finalized with Microsoft, Arto Nummela will be HMD's CEO; the incumbent has held a range of senior positions including being the current head of Microsoft's mobile devices markets in Africa, Greater Asia and Middle East. Florian Seiche who is at the moment the senior vice president of Microsoft Mobile's Europe sales and marketing.
So in layman's terms, Nokia fans will soon get a chance to lay their hands on an Android powered Nokia smartphone or even tablet. Foxconn will be in-charge of manufacturing, Nokia Technologies will see that the devices meet consumer's expectations in terms of innovation, whilst HMD global will be the overall developer.
We can only hope that besides the Nokia brand, the devices will also have unique Nokia feel to them.
Are you excited? What are some of your expectations from this new development? Do you think it will be a success or another Microsoft-Nokia disaster? Leave us a comment below.