During its Capital Markets Day earlier this month, Nokia confirmed that, yes, it will be returning to releasing smartphone devices beginning next year. A few industry watchers are even starting to predict that the Finnish company will making full use of an appearance in the 2017 Mobile World Congress (to be held either in late February or early March) in order to officially announce its newest smartphone offerings.
Talk of a comeback began when Nokia inked a certain deal that would allow a company called HMD to commence the manufacture of a fresh new generation of mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets) branded under the Nokia name. But according to slides used during its Capital Markets Day, Nokia’s fan may have to wait until 2017. Back in July earlier this year, there was speculation that the company would debut Nokia branded smartphones powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system before 2016 was over. Still, in light of the fact that Rajeev Suri, the chief executive officer of Nokia, is expected to deliver a keynote addressed during the MWC, he could take the opportunity to announce the newest smartphones then.
There are already rumors flying about the new Nokia device. As reported by Tech Times, the handset is to be called the Nokia D1C, and it is speculated to come with midrange specs, and will be preinstalled with Android 7.0 Nougat. Also, the Nokia D1C will not be released as a flagship device, which means that another more powerful and feature heavy Nokia handset will be coming next year, too. But note that all of these are rumors for now, so unless Nokia publishes any confirmation about the Nokia D1C, it is all just hearsay.
Basically, Nokia’s deal with HMD grants the latter an exclusive worldwide license to produce smartphones and tablet devices under the former’s brand name for the next ten years. Also, part of the deal requires HMD to pay Nokia royalties for cellular standard essential patent licenses owned by Nokia.
Nokia’s comeback to smartphones may be eagerly awaited by its most ardent fans, but the road to realizing it is not an easy one. As part of the HMD deal, Microsoft sold its right to use the Nokia brand on feature phones to HMD. On top of that, Microsoft also sold the manufacturing, sales, and distribution parts of its feature phone division to FIH Mobile, which is a subsidiary owned by electronics contract manufacturing powerhouse Foxconn.
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