It is official. Nokia is making a comeback to the smartphone space with Android based devices next year.
HMD Global, which signed a strategic licensing agreement with Nokia, announced to the press today that it will be bringing Nokia-branded Android smartphones in the first half of 2017.
“Nokia has been one of the most iconic and recognisable phone brands globally for decades,” Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global said in the statement. “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.”
For its upcoming devices, HMD says it will focus on “innovation, quality, and experience”. According to reports, HMD has roped in ex-Nokia employees to lead its operations and marketing in several key markets.
The exclusive global brand license signed by HMD and Nokia will allow the former to manufacture and sell phones for the next ten years. As part of the agreement, Nokia will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of every Nokia branded mobile phone and tablet.
Nokia quit smartphones in 2014 by selling its handset business to Microsoft. Though Microsoft continued selling Lumia smartphones under its own name but abandoned that business. In September, there were rumors of Microsoft ditching the Lumia branding and ending production of the Windows 10 handset by the end of this year.
The new Nokia-branded Android devices will be manufactured by Foxconn of Taiwan. You can expect to see the device launched around the time of the Mobile World Congress in February 2017.