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Nokia will start making phones and tablets again

By Koh Wanzi - on 19 May 2016, 4:49pm

Nokia will start making phones and tablets again

Image Source: Android Central

It was painful to watch Microsoft drive Nokia into the ground, but that has thankfully come to an end now. But while the Nokia feature phone business may have been offloaded to FIH Mobile, a Foxconn subsidiary, this is just the beginning of a new chapter for the once-storied company. In what may be its most significant move in a long while, Nokia announced that it is licensing its brand and intellectual property to a fellow Finnish company called HMD Global, which will take charge of Nokia’s return to the smartphone and tablet market.

As it turns out, this isn’t an entirely new leadership team. HMD Global is led by former Microsoft and Nokia executives, and Arto Nummela, a Nokia veteran who moved to Microsoft when the latter acquired Nokia’s mobile business, will be installed as CEO after the transaction closes at the end of June. The company has agreed to a conditional deal with Microsoft to acquire the rights to the Nokia name and other related design rights, which it could then deploy on a new portfolio of feature phones.

Foxconn also has a part to play in Nokia’s return. In fact, its subsidiary FIH Mobile already has a collaborative agreement in place with HMD Global to support the building of a global business for Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. Although it was reported that Microsoft was selling its feature phone business to Foxconn, which put up most of the cash, the transaction actually involved three parties – Microsoft, Foxconn, and HMD Global.

Under the agreement, Foxconn would manufacture the new Nokia devices, in addition to existing feature phones, while HMD Global would be responsible for the design of the new smartphones. The new devices will also be based on Android, which means there's a new Android hardware manufacturer on the horizon.

Nokia acknowledged Android's dominance too late.

On Nokia’s end, it would be paid a per-device licensing fee and would be given a position on HMD Global’s board, despite not having put any money into the company. It would also be able to set certain mandatory brand requirements and performance related provisions.

Clearly, the hope is that consumers still have fond memories of the Nokia brand. After all, Nokia was once the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, with a peak valuation of almost US$250 billion. Ideally, Nokia’s new products will leverage on both Nokia’s design expertise and Foxconn’s manufacturing smarts, and spawn a new portfolio of newly competitive Android devices.

So the most pressing question now is: Would you buy a Nokia phone?

Source: Nokia