Here’s a blast from the past that you may not have been expecting: Nokia is back in the phone business. At one point in time, Nokia was at the top of the phone food chain, but the company was knocked by by the rise of smartphones when it just couldn’t keep up.
In 2014, Nokia sold its entire business to Microsoft, but now the company reports that it’s back in the phone game.
Rising from the Ashes
Nokia didn’t sell Microsoft its phone patents, so the company has been holding onto those for some time now. Unfortunately for Nokia, they have to wait until a non-compete with Microsoft runs out before the company can begin making phones again - but I’m going to guess that they’re making phones in the dark for now, since Nokia has just signed a deal with HMD manufacturers.
This time around, Nokia doesn’t plan to make the handsets themselves. Instead, Nokia will get some of the royalties from HMD and HMD will manufacture the phones that Nokia is creating. As far as branding goes, though, Nokia’s name will be on the new handsets. HMD has purchased the rights from Microsoft to use Nokia’s brand name on phones until 2024.
HMD in Disguise
So where did HMD come from? Interestingly, HMD is a newly founded company that was started by former Nokia executive Jean-Francois Baril. HMD’s management team also includes some former Nokia employees. Nokia has not yet commented on this story, but the information enclosed here comes from very reliable sources.
So what might new Nokia phones look like? Well, the last time that Nokia attempted to compete in the smartphone sphere, the company didn’t do so well. But there seems to be something of a regression when it comes to smartphones happening. The world, it seems, is kind of fed up of being always connected, so Nokia might just come up with something that combines the best of both worlds.
I’m going to be one of the first to state that Nokia will probably be putting out some very basic phones. It might even be an opportune time for the company, since people are now looking for basic phones instead of what was new and shiny at the time of Nokia’s demise (iPhones were coming out around that time).
Or it might be true that Nokia is attempting to create a smartphone. After taking a few years off to study the market, Baril and team might have a better idea of what will sell, what’s marketable, and what people want - one would hope, at least. Right now we sit and wait to see what’s happening with Nokia and where it will go from here.
Now that we know that Nokia will be working with HMD, it’s all starting to be in the works. The company just has to wait for that non-compete to run out now. Is it too late for Nokia? Is the brand still known and popular? Or have people not forgotten what happened the last time around? Time will tell!