New phones are coming from Nokia. We’ve known it was happening for a while, but official information was always lacking, until now. The agreement between Nokia and HMD Global announced in May 2016 has been finalized, and is in effect. It means HMD Global can use Nokia’s brand name and designs on smartphones it commissions Foxconn-owned FIH Mobile to build for it over the next ten years.
HMD Global calls itself “the new home of Nokia phones,” and promises we’ll get a range of smartphones and tablets, which will be announced soon. When will this be? Speculation has been growing at least some announcements will come at Mobile World Congress in February 2017, and taking a look at a newly updated Nokia website goes some way to back this up.
The site says Nokia is, “busy working on smartphones running Android,” and that it’s, “just getting started, with new smartphones coming in 2017.” HMD Global’s press release on the subject makes things even clearer, confirming Nokia Android phones will be here during the first half of next year. The smartphones will sit alongside the current Nokia feature phone range.
Up to four smartphones are rumored to come during this time, spanning a wide range of prices and technical specifications, but we’ve yet to hear rumors about new Nokia tablets. Previously, Nokia made a brief return to hardware branding with the N1 tablet, which used Android and came with Nokia’s Z Launcher user interface over the top. Very little is known about the devices it will produce with HMD Global, outside of speculation, and confirmation Android will be used as the operating system.
Expectation is high. The Nokia name is hugely recognizable — global awareness reaches 95 percent, according to HMD Global president Florian Seiche — and fans disappointed by Microsoft’s treatment of the company following its acquisition, will be keen to see those ghosts exorcised with some strong new products. Now we know the wait for them is almost over.