Nokia mobile phones are back; new firm to make Android smartphones, tablets

Company set up by former executives of Nokia and Microsoft, which bought Finnish firm’s phone division in 2014, to invest US$500m in ‘new generation’ of Nokia smartphones and tablets

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 May, 2016, 11:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 May, 2016, 11:14am

The Nokia mobile phone is coming back.

The Finnish telecoms company, which has focused on networks since it sold its troubled devices unit to Microsoft in 2014, says it is bringing out “a new generation” of cellphones and tablets together with a new company called HMD.

Nokia will not make the phones or tablets itself. Rather, HMD, which is led by a group of former Nokia and Microsoft executives, will produce them under the Nokia brand.

No details were disclosed on when the first handsets might be ready for market, how many the companies plan to make, or what specifications they would have. HMD will invest US$500 million in the next three years.

The phones would use the Android operating system and would be made by Taiwan-based Foxconn, which also manufactures for Apple, Xinhua reported.

Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, said the new venture would allow it to “participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world”.

Nokia was for years the world’s top mobile phone maker until the advent of smartphones such as the iPhone and Android-based systems.

It also increasingly struggled to compete with cheaper models from competitors in emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere. It ultimately sold its loss-making devices and services unit to Microsoft in a 5.44 billion deal in 2014.

In a parallel move, Microsoft announced it had sold its basic phone business to Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile, Xinhua reported.