Newly-founded Finnish company HMD Global on Thursday said that it will bring Nokia-branded phones, tablets to consumers for the next 10 years with the first set of smartphones releasing in the first half of 2017 as it completed the deal with Microsoft to own the existing Nokia branded feature phone business .
Microsoft in May had sold Nokia’s branding rights to HMD Global and contract manufacturer Foxconn for $350 million. Microsoft had bought Nokia’s phone business in 2013 for nearly $7.2 billion and was forced to sell the business after the last quarter alone saw a 46% drop in phone revenue, slightly better than the 49% drop in the quarter before that.
Under the new agreement of sale, HMD will focus on new devices that will carry the Nokia brand name and run on Google’s Android OS while Foxconn’s subsidiary FIH Mobile Limited will manufacture, sale and distribute Microsoft’s feature phones. Nokia Technologies will also receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of Nokia-branded mobile products, covering both brand and intellectual property rights.
“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,” rto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global, said, adding that his company sees 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.
Earlier, HMD had also said that it intends to invest over $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.
While Arto Nummela acts as CEO, HMD’s presidential role will be headed by Florian Seiche, who was senior vice president for Europe Sales and Marketing at Microsoft Mobile, and previously held key roles at Nokia, HTC and other global brands.
The new set of smartphones are expected to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2017, expected to be held in February.