The Finnish company, HMD Global, with the rights to produce Nokia branded mobile phones has announced the first batch of smartphones. The Nokia smartphones are targeting the Chinese market and are said to retail at $246.
These smartphones mark the resurrection of the Nokia brand from the dead; following Microsoft acquisition of the company, which led to the phasing off of the Nokia brand for Microsoft Lumia.
The HMD Global device, the Nokia 6, runs on Android OS and was manufactured by Foxconn. The smartphone will be sold exclusively in China through an online retailer JD.com.
In part, a statement by HMD Global reads: “The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone into China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world… It is a strategically important market.”
The Nokia brand was once the market leader in mobile phone sells but missed the transition from feature phones to smartphones when Microsoft acquired it. Microsoft later phased out the Nokia brand for the Lumia brand. It would appear the Nokia brand is hell bent on making a comeback.
After Microsoft acquired Nokia in 2014, it continued producing feature phones under the Nokia brand while selling smartphones under the Lumia brand. However, last year, Microsoft abandoned both businesses.
In December, HMD took over the Nokia feature phones business and inked a deal that secured it sole rights to use the Nokia brand on phones and tablets over the next ten years. Nokia will be getting royalties from HMD for their usage of the Nokia brand. However, Nokia does not have any direct investments in HMD Global.
Arto Nummela, the CEO of HMD, told Reuters last month that they plan to become a fierce competitor in the smartphone business. They want to give established brands like Apple, Samsung, and others a good run for their money.