Nokia phones will reappear on shelves in 2017 as
newly-formed manufacturer HMD Global took control of the
Finnish brand from Microsoft.
HMD, which is made up of veteran Nokia executives from its
handset division, was formed six months ago, and is backed by
Foxconn as a manufacturing partner.
The Finnish company has signed an exclusive 10-year brand
licensing agreement with Nokia which will see take control of
the vendor’s feature phone business and launch
Android-powered smartphones in the first half of 2017.
Nokia was the world’s biggest mobile
phone-maker, with a 50.8% global share in 2007, according to
Statista. By 2013, the year
Microsoft announced plans to acquire Nokia’s
handset division in a $7.9 billion deal, this had fallen to
Microsoft stopped using the Nokia brand on its handsets in
October 2014, opting for the Lumia sub-brand for smartphones
instead, and sold off its feature phone business to HMD in May
for $350 million.
HMD Global is headed up by Arto Nummela as CEO. Nummela was
previously VP at Microsoft Mobile Devices Sales for greater
Asia, Middle East and Africa. He originally joined Nokia in
Nummela said: "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
Nokia phones make up nine of the 10 best-selling mobile
devices of all time, including the Nokia 1100, which tops the
list having shifted more than 250 million units worldwide.
HMD Global’s leadership team, which was also
announced, also includes Florian Seiche, who co-founded
HTC’s branded smartphone business, and served as
global director of Orange Deivces. He has been named
Former Nokia IMEA head of finance Anssi Rönnemaa has
been named chief finance and commercial officer, while former
Nokia SVP of marketing Pekka Rantala has been named CMO.