#Nokia’s return to the mobile space is happening end of 2016 with the leaked Nokia C1
There will be two models: a mid-ranger and a flagship handset. The latter of which is the one most people are interested in, as it is the phone that will go head-to-head with the likes of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which will get a release around the same time.
HMD’s Chief Executive, Arto Nummela, has been discussing the upcoming Nokia Android Phones now that the cat is out the bag. According to Nummela, who sat down with The Economic Times of India, the handsets will be true to Nokia’s existing design pedigree.
“It will be premium quality [and a] design that people will immediately recognise as Nokia,” he said, revealing the company is planning to go “global from day one for our feature phone business.”
Nummela said Nokia will be extremely competitive with respect to pricing and specs.
“We have the brand equity and we want to leverage that to the fullest. Every product, marketing, will be true to the Nokia brand and the foundation of it.
“Stability, quality, reliability, and then we’re bringing in innovation where it matters the most for [the] consumer, and removing the clutter. This will be seen through [the] Nokia line up coming to life again.” he said.
For a more detailed look at all the rumours, read on…
We’re all familiar with Nokia. Together with other key phone manufacturers from the 90’s (such as Motorola), the firm pretty much dominated the early mobile space, back before smartphones, and produced some of the most iconic feature phones in the industry; devices which are still much-loved and often used even today. With the emergence of smartphones, the likes of Nokia and Motorola took a back seat for a time, while Apple, Samsung, and others pretty much took over. Nokia took a gamble and got involved with Microsoft on the Windows Phone project, a gamble which ultimately didn’t pay off and resulted in Microsoft buying up Nokia’s smartphone division, as well as the exclusive rights to produce devices under the Nokia brand…until now, that is.
As of December 1, HMD Global has issued a new press release on the subject of its plans with Nokia in 2017. Amongst the details there is confirmation of new handsets arriving next year. The company stated that “new Nokia smartphones on Android operating system [will be] available in H1 2017.”
“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.
Driven by the extremely positive reception we have received since HMD was announced earlier this year, we are excited about building the next chapter for Nokia phones. 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.”
- HMD Global enters the market today, to create a new generation of Nokia branded mobile phonesthrough an exclusive 10-year brand licensing agreement
- Effective immediately, HMD will own the existing Nokia branded feature phone business, providing global market reach and scale
- HMD Global leadership team announced; ambition to become significant player in the global smartphone market
- Strategic partnership model with leading industry players and world-class expertise to bring the very best Nokia mobile phone experience to global consumers
- New Nokia smartphones on Android operating system available in H1 2017
Nokia has announced that its CEO, Rajeev Suri, will be speaking at a keynote at MWC 2017, alongside chief execs of major carrier networks and app and service developers. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s CEO of its Asia-Pacific branch, James Rutherfoord, has gone on the record saying HMD Global – the firm which has acquired the rights to sell Nokia phones and is teaming up with Nokia itself – will launch multiple devices in 2016 and 2017.
On December 2 word has emerged that Google is “closely” involved with Nokia’s new Android phones. The info comes via an article in Reuters, which was originally published featuring a comment about a “close partnership” between Nokia and Google for development of the new hardware, however, as Android Authority reports, the article has since been edited and the quotation removed for reasons unknown.
“Update: Reuters has since removed the “close partnership” comment from its article (which you can still read via The Way Back Machine), either indicating that HMD or Google requested its removal or that Reuters misunderstood the comments made by Arto Nummela on HMD’s collaboration with Google and clarified the text of the article,” reads a new segment of AA’s report.
The original reporting via AA is as follows:
“HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela told Reuters that its first forays into the Android smartphone world have been conducted in close partnership with Google.”
“The details of that partnership are not public, but it would be easy to guess the kinds of advice Google would have for a new player in the Android space, especially one that casts as long a shadow as Nokia. For instance, if we see a Moto-esque “stock Android+” on the new Nokias, with a few custom tweaks on top, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”
Reports circulating on November 24 have revealed a set of specs for an alleged Nokia flagship poised to launch in 2017. The details were published on the Chinese Weibo social network (GSMArena snagged the below screenshot) which point to a QHD display, and possibly two variants at this resolution with 5.2in and 5.5in displays, waterproofing on a metal bodyshell, Carl Zeiss camera optics (as per older Nokia models), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. That processor choice is a bit odd considering Snapdragon 830 and 835-based opponents will be giving it a hard time in Q1/Q2 2017.
As of November 21, Nokia itself has released details confirming its plans to release new smartphone devices in 2017. Nokia gave a presentation to investors at a Capital Markets Day event and a PDF file is now hosted on the firm’s webpage which includes the slides for that presentation. Amongst the slides there is a roadmap for 2016-2018. For the 2016 we can see Nokia’s recent acquisition of health tech firm Withings, “brand & patent licenses” under HMD, license agreement expansion with Samsung, and the firm’s OZO VR Camera.
For 2017, Nokia talks about plans for “expanded VR leadership”, which could be interpreted in any number of ways, but dare we hope for a VR headset? “Digital Health” branding is also mentioned, probably capitalising on the Withings acquisition; it’s possible we could see new health and fitness wearables from Nokia. There’s also talk of further “patent licensing expansion in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics,” which all sounds very promising. BUT, the real meat comes in this simple line:
“Nokia brand’s return to smartphones.”
Quite powerful in its understatement, no? Yes folks, Nokia is planning a smartphone revival in 2017 and it’s now official. However, the news doesn’t change the fact that the revival of the Nokia brand will still be a licensing partnership under the guidance of HMD, rather than Nokia producing the phones outright as it used to. More details on the HMD deal can be found further down this article.
According to details sourced by NokiaPowerUser from a “Vietnamese publication”, HMD will launch “two new phone products in the fourth quarter 2016 and at least two smartphones in the early second quarter 2017.”
This statement is being interpreted as implying the first two phones will be feature phones rather than smartphones. Truth be told, we don’t find the prospect of new feature phones very inspiring, so the really exciting stuff for us will be early 2017 onwards when actual Android-based Nokia smartphones are expected to appear. Basically we should all be watching MWC 2017 for Nokia’s triumphant return to the smartphone space.
NPR says, “The phone manufacturing factory of Microsoft in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, is managed by FIH Mobile. As per agreement between HMD, FIH and Nokia; FIH has acquired Nokia production facilities, global sales and distribution network from Microsoft. So, this plant may produce upcoming two new Nokia phones, expected to be launched later this year.”
The Nokia brand, as rumoured, is returning to the mobile space to make Android-powered smartphones and tablets. The news was confirmed in a press release from the company, which is now owned by HMD, a new company set up to enable the proliferation of Nokia-branded phones and tablets.
Here’s the official line from HMD on what’s happening:
“HMD has been founded to provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones and tablets. To complete its portfolio of Nokia branding rights, HMD announced today that it has conditionally agreed to acquire from Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia brand on feature phones, and certain related design rights. The Microsoft transaction is expected to close in H2 2016. Together these agreements would make HMD the sole global licensee for all types of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. HMD intends to invest over USD 500 million over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, funded via its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.”