It’s official, consumers around the world will soon be able to buy smartphones and tablets bearing the Nokia name again.
In an interview with ZDNet, executives from HMD Global Oy, the company that agreed to buy Microsoft’s feature phone business alongside Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile, said they plan to start building Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets once the deal closes later this year. The company, recently formed and made up of former of Nokia executives, has been granted an exclusive 10 year license to build Nokia-branded mobile products by Nokia Technologies.
Nokia Technologies executives will also sit on HMD’s board of directors to ensure any devices it releases “exemplify consumer expectations of Nokia devices, including quality, design and consumer focused innovation”.
Better yet, all the devices HMD plans to release will run Google’s Android OS, “uniting,” as the company says, “one of the world’s iconic mobile brands with the leading mobile operating system and app development community.”
There’s also a good chance HMD’s Nokia devices will come to Canada as the company plans to invest $500 million over the next three years to market its products across the world.
“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,” Ramzi Haidamus, the president of Nokia Technologies, in statement issued to ZDNet.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen another OEM build a Nokia-branded device. In 2014, Foxconn built the Android-powered Nokia N1 tablet, though obviously this is a much more substantial investment in bringing back the brand that once dominated the mobile world.