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December 1, 2016
It’s official. Like a phoenix, Nokia smartphones have risen from the ashes to take on the world once more.
It feels a bit like the return of a long-forgotten king to claim his rightful place on the throne of the smartphone kingdom; defiantly galloping back into town upon his noble steed, HMD Global.
Of course, while Nokia has been away the mobile handset market has evolved beyond recognition. It is essentially starting from nothing, with a fondly-remembered brand name and experienced dudes leading the new venture, but with zero customer base or existing product set. Imagine if you will this to be the reboot of a long-established movie franchise – wiping the slate clean and starting again.
HMD is run by Arto Nummela and Florian Seiche, both of whom have extensive experience within Microsoft on the mobile handset side of the business since the smartphone was born ten years ago. They’ll be hoping their efforts to restore the Nokia brand to the dizzying heights of its former glories don’t go the way the Windows mobile brand did.
While HMD avoided using the term “smartphone” back in its initial announcement back in May, this time It has been more explicit in its desires.
“Ambition to become significant player in the global smartphone market,” its announcement said.
That message was similarly backed up by Nummela, the HMD Global CEO, who enthused that the Nokia brand is its principal selling point.
“Today marks a happy and important day for HMD,” he said. “Nokia has been one of the most iconic and recognisable phone brands globally for decades. The excitement of re-introducing this much-loved, well-known and trusted brand to smartphone consumers is a responsibility and an ambition that everyone at HMD shares.
“Driven by the extremely positive reception we have received since HMD was announced earlier this year, we are excited about building the next chapter for Nokia phones. We see this as a brilliant opportunity to solve real life consumer problems and to deliver on the quality and designs that the Nokia brand has been always known for. Our talented and passionate team is uniquely placed in this modern setup to deliver our promise of reliable, beautifully crafted and fun Nokia phones for consumers across the globe.”
If HMD is planning on taking on the smartphone market in earnest, it will need to find a real key differentiator in what is already a mature-verging-on-ageing and difficult to penetrate market.
As of yet, specific smartphone models haven’t been announced by HMD, but it has confirmed the first half of 2017 will see the Nokia brand rise from the dead with a concrete launch.
Hopefully sentimentality isn’t its only selling point, because if it is the Nokia’s reanimation will be short and painful experience for everyone.
Tim is the features editor at Telecoms.com, focusing on the latest activity within the telecoms and technology industries – delivering dry and irreverent yet informative news and analysis features.
Tim is also host of weekly podcast A Week In Wireless, where the editorial team from Telecoms.com and their industry mates get together every now and then and have a giggle about what’s going on in the industry.
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