Nokia is back. The Finnish company has reentered the mobile phone and tablet markets on a global basis, now that Microsoft's control of its name has ended. The Nokia brand and its intellectual property will be licensed to HMD Global, a newly created Finnish company which will develop, produce and sell a range of Android smartphones and tablets.
The deal between Nokia and HMD will last for a decade and will result in "beautifully designed, high quality products...in line with Nokia's brand promise."
For the the consumer, this means Nokia is returning, and it will be selling own-branded feature phones, alongside a new range of Android smartphones and tablets.
HMD will be headed by chief executive Arto Nummela, who is currently in charge of Microsoft's Mobile Devices Division in Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa.
The new company intends to invest over $500m (£345m) over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded phones and tablets.
An exciting new chapter
Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, said in a statement on 18 May: "Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name. Instead of Nokia returning to manufacturing mobile phones itself, HMD plans to produce mobile phones and tablets that can leverage and grow the value of the Nokia brand in global markets."
Nummela says HMD will be "completely focused" in creating a "unified range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, which we know will resonate with consumers...our business model is centred on the unique asset of the Nokia brand and our extensive experience in sales and marketing."
Nokia recently announced plans to buy Withings, the smartwatch and smart bathroom scale maker, and is currently producing the Ozo, a £43,000 camera rig which can shoot 360-degree video and audio, intended for virtual reality film making. The Finnish company will have a seat on the board of directors at HMD and will "set mandatory brand requirements and performance related provisions."