Newstalk
Newstalk

16.34 19 May 2016


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A brand new partnership is set to see Nokia phones rolled out across the world once more.

The Finnish brand – once the biggest name in mobile phone technology and worth $300 billion in its pomp – has been sold by Microsoft for just $350m.

Microsoft had decided to retire the name 18 months ago, but new brand owners HMD have other plans.

The company, composed of former Nokia employees in Finland, are teaming up with iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, which has purchased the manufacturing, distribution and sales arms of Nokia, to build new models.

While the purchase will initially just see production of beloved Nokia "feature phone" – the smartphone's "dumb", retro and Snake-equipped ancestor – the plan is for Android-based smartphones and tablets to bear the famous Nokia name in the future.

HMD global CEO Arto Nummela said:

"We will be completely focused on creating a unified range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, which we know will resonate with consumers.

"Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, which is why our business model is centered on the unique asset of the Nokia brand, and our extensive experience in sales and marketing.

"We will work with world-class manufacturing and distribution providers to move quickly and deliver what customers want".

Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, said:

"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".

Nokia's initial downfall in the field can be be put down to a number of factors.

Such was the power of the brand – which was raking in over 50% of all profits in the mobile phone industry in 2007 – that its dominance led to, if not arrogance, than complacency as the smartphone revolution gathered pace.

Then, in the operating system race between Apple and Android, its own (notoriously buggy) Symbian OS got crushed between those two eventual titans.

The subsequent move to the Windows Phone in 2011 was a misguided one as that OS quickly flopped.

Nokia has been success outside of the consumer electronics game, however – working on telecommunications infrastructure, it boasts a staff of over 100,000 and enjoyed a profit of €1.5bn in 2015.


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