Displaying items by tag: HMD Global

HMD Global, the maker of Nokia brand phones, announced it has raised USD 280 million in new financing from investors including Google, Qualcomm and Nokia. The money will go to strengthening its product offering, including 5G devices and new services, and expanding in new markets, such as Brazil, India and Africa.

The company announced four areas where it plans to invest. First, is affordable 5G smartphones, "with an emphasis on strong partnerships with US carriers".

Second, HMD Global will further transition to digital-first offerings as part of a new post-COVID reality, as well as more consumers buying their phones from internet sellers.

Third, the company plans to expand its presence in key growth markets. This includes the recently introduced operations in Brazil, as well as Africa and India.

Fourth, the investment will help the business strengthen its position beyond hardware and into a "holistic mobile service provider".

This year alone, HMD Global launched its international data roaming service HMD Connect, enhanced its mobile cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of Valona Labs assets, and started developing its own software, security and services with a new research and development centre in Tampere, Finland.

It last raised external funds with a USD 100 million round in mid-2018. HMD first started selling Nokia phones in 2016 and has since expanded to 91 markets and shipped over 240 million phones.

Published in Finance

HMD Global, the parent company of Nokia phones, has unveiled the Nokia 8, a high performance smartphone designed with content creators in mind. It’s the first “premium” smartphone to be launched by HMD Global. The device introduces a “world first” in enabling Dual-Sight video to be live-streamed natively and in real-time to social feeds such as Facebook and YouTube.

Dual-Sight simultaneously harnesses both the front and rear cameras in a split screen visual for both photos and videos to give users a “more immersive experiences for those who love to create and share special memories.”

The front and rear-facing cameras on the phone have been co-developed with optics and optoelectronics firm ZEISS, for an “optimum all round experience.” Content creators can natively broadcast their unique “bothie” videos to social media through the Dual-Sight functionality located within the camera app. The phone aims to popularize the idea of filming “bothies”.

“We know that fans are creating and sharing live content more than ever before, with millions of photos and videos shared every minute on social media,” said Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global. “People are inspired by the content they consume and are looking for new ways to create their own. It’s these people who have inspired us to craft a flagship smartphone which perfectly balances premium design, an outstanding experience and powerful performance.”

Nokia 8 is the first smartphone to feature Nokia OZO Audio. OZO 360° audio brings a fully immersive audio experience to 4K video, HMD Global claims. The device combines three microphones with exclusive Nokia acoustic algorithms to capture audio with immersive 360° spatial surround sound.

The device is 4.6mm thin at the edge and just 7.3mm slim on average, made from a single block of 6000 series aluminum. Select models feature a high-gloss mirror finish.

The phone features Qualcomm’s SnapdragonTIM 835 Mobile Platform paired with Android Nougat 7.1.1. The device has 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory with external MicroSD card slot (supporting up to 256GB). It also has biometric fingerprint authentication.

Nokia 8 will be available in four colors: Polished Blue, Polished Copper, Tempered Blue and Steel and will be available at a global average retail price of €599 (US$700) with roll out throughout September.

Published in Devices

Earlier this year, HMD Global, the Finnish parent company of Nokia phones, refreshed the iconic Nokia 3310 with a new modern design and fresh features catering to fan nostalgia. Now, the company has launched revamped version of both the Nokia 105 and Nokia 130.

Featuring refreshed, ergonomic designs, both phones come packed with features combining value and durability. Both models feature 1.8-inch color screens, handy LED torch lights, and sleek, contoured designs, with each phone being available in a range of three colors.

Retailing at a global average price of $14.50 for the single SIM variant and $15 for the dual SIM variant, excluding taxes and subsidies, the Nokia 105 will be available in blue, white and black – each color with a matte finish. Available in red, grey and black, the Nokia 130 retails for a global average price of $21.50 excluding taxes and subsidies. Both the Nokia 130 and Nokia 105 are available in Dual and Single SIM variants.

With more than 1.3 billion feature phone users around the world, many from markets in Asia and Africa, the reliability and value that both the Nokia 105 and Nokia 130 offer aims to “ensure yet more people around the world can get connected,” HMD Global said in a release.

With over 200 million Nokia previous model 105s sold to date around the world, the new 2017 handset now features an all new sculpted ergonomic design, outstanding battery life, and improved usability, with a larger screen size and new tactile island keymat.

Inspired by the Nokia phone design heritage, the new contoured style of the Nokia 105 is designed to fit well in a users’ hand. With inherent color throughout its polycarbonate casing minimizing the visual impact of knocks and bumps, the Nokia 105 is “built to take on everyday life.”

The new keymat features separated keys for improved usability, while the larger 1.8-inch screen delivers a better viewing experience when playing games, like Snake Xenzia, which comes preloaded. The phone is capable of up to 15 hours talk time and a month long standby, and with enough storage space for up to 500 text messages and up to 2,000 contacts.

The new Nokia 130 features up to 44 hours of FM radio playback time and room for “thousands of songs” considering its 32GB of MicroSD card storage. The phone’s clear 1.8-inch color screen offers a great viewing experience when enjoying video via a MicroSD card. It is capable of 11.5 hours of video playback on a single charge.

“With more than 4 billion people remaining offline and unable to benefit from the social and economic development opportunities of the internet, simply getting connected by voice and text is still such an important step for many people around the world,” said Arto Nummela, CEO, HMD Global.

“More than 400 million feature phones were sold globally in 2016. We cannot underestimate the need and benefit of being connected and we are dedicated to delivering devices that can enable many people around the world to expand their horizon.”

Published in Devices

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, and ZEISS jointly announced the signing of an exclusive partnership that aims to set new imaging standards within the smartphone industry. This long-term agreement builds on the shared history and expertise between ZEISS and Nokia smartphones.

With a joint ambition to advance the quality of the total imaging experience on smartphones spanning the entire ecosystem from software, services, through to screen quality, and optic design, the partnership will see ZEISS and HMD Global co-develop standard-defining imaging capabilities and will bring the ZEISS brand back to Nokia smartphones.

The relationship between ZEISS and Nokia phones began more than a decade ago, and is founded on a “shared passion for innovation” and “always delivering the best for the consumer” HMD Global said in a release. The past collaboration saw ZEISS and Nokia phones driving technology innovations such as the world’s first multi-megapixel mobile phone and many more standard-setting devices, from the Nokia Nseries to those featuring Nokia PureView technologies.

“Collaborating with ZEISS is an important part of our commitment to always deliver the very best experience for our customers,” said Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global. “Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera, they want a complete imaging experience that doesn’t just set the standard but redefines it. Our fans expect it and, together with ZEISS, we’re delivering it – co-developed imaging excellence for all.”

Dr. Matthias Metz, Member of the Executive Board of ZEISS Group said:“The collaboration of HMD Global with ZEISS for Nokia smartphones will again enhance consumers’ holistic imaging experience based on excellence and innovation. Our partnership is built on a solid foundation. Together, we look forward to an exciting journey into the future of sophisticated smartphone imaging.”

Published in Devices

Mobile World Congress, the world's annual gathering for the mobile industry, was held in Barcelona this year from 27 February to 2 March. As the most anticipated event of the year for the industry, thousands of people come to Spain's Mobile Capital to meet and greet industry experts, witness the latest mobile and technology announcements and trends in the sector, and to find out what the next year's technologies will be.

This year's MWC event saw plenty of exciting releases, including phones, tablets, and other smart devices. Huawei, LG, Sony, ZTE, Nokia and even BlackBerry announced new smartphones at the event. Huawei unveiled an impressive new smartphone, the Huawei P10 and the larger P10 Plus, featuring dual Leica rear camera lenses, a longer-lasting battery and fingerprint sensor system.

Finnish startup HMD Global relaunched one of Nokia's most popular devices at MWC - the 3310 - which was first launched to the mobile phone industry 17 years ago. Nokia's 3310 is considered an iconic handset due to its incredible popularity amongst customers in the early 00's when Nokia dominated the mobile phone market. Nokia also introduced a range three new Android smartphones: the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3.

TCL Communication launched a new high-end BlackBerry device at MWC, the KEYone, which brings back the brand's signature physical keyboard and has a larger screen than previous models. Like Nokia, BlackBerry phones will be made under license by another manufacturer.

Samsung, which didn't unveil a new smartphone, announced a premium tablet at MWC, and two all-in-one PCs at the event. The Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by Android 7.0, and now comes with an S-pen for jotting notes and sketching on the screen. The company also announced a new keyboard for the Tab S3, available as an additional purchase. With Android 7.0 installed on the Tab S3, Samsung adopted Google's multi-window mode, and quick app switching, in lieu of the company's previous TouchWiz solution.

Vendors vowing to make comebacks
On day one of Mobile World Congress, Ericsson's newly appointed CEO, Borje Ekholm, vowed to restore the Swedish company's reputation - and declared that under his guidance the organization will be at the forefront of the evolution of 5G technologies. Ekholm was appointed as the new CEO in October 2016, but didn't officially become CEO until January 16. He replaced Hans Vesterberg, who had been Ericsson's CEO for the previous seven years.

At a press briefing, Ekholm pledged to turn around Ericsson's flailing fortunes and lead them out of one of the most tumultuous periods of its history. Ericsson has endured a difficult number of years - last year the Swedish telecommunications giant was forced to axe thousands of staff in both Sweden and Italy in a desperate effort to reduce costs.

In addition, Ericsson was rocked to the core by allegations from former executives that Ericsson had allegedly bribed a string of high profile politicians across different regions in an effort to secure major contracts in those countries. Former executive Liss-Olof Nenzell handed the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents relating to the alleged kickbacks.

In defense, Ekholm delivered a passionate address at MWC, declaring that Ericsson is ready to explore 'unchartered territory' in its bid to rollout 5G technologies. Ekholm disclosed that Ericsson was making 'significant headway' and was adamant that the firm would be at the forefront of the 5G evolution.

Ekholm said: "Of course 5G has been a buzzword and nothing has really happened, right? But what you are seeing now is the momentum we are building. We are entering into a whole new market, in a way (it's) uncharted territory. We are connecting new things, this will require us to enter into new partnerships and new collaborations and new business models basically."

The CEO said there was 'real momentum' starting to build towards 5G and added that organizations ranging from network companies, to mobile phone makers, to semiconductor businesses are united in their efforts to make 5G a reality - the future of mobile internet was a key theme and prominent feature of discussions all week at MWC 2017.

Ekholm also declared that Ericsson's future will require grit and grace in an attempt to transform itself back into a global leader. Ekholm concluded by saying, "At Ericsson we're focused on setting our future direction - but the process will take a lot of grit, grace and huge amount of team work."

Another leading vendor at MWC, Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei, caused a stir at the event when it unveiled its latest smartphone with a better camera in an attempt to exploit the gap in the market left by Samsung's withdrawal of its flagship device due to problems with the battery.
Samsung was forced to recall all of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 units last October after reports emerged that the devices were catching fire and in some cases even self-combusting. The South Korean conglomerate is subsequently delaying the launch of its new flagship smartphone until later this year. Apple traditionally avoids Mobile World Congress, so that left Huawei - the world's third largest smartphone maker - with a brilliant opportunity to seize the spotlight at the show.

Huawei launched the P10 and the larger P10 Plus which feature dual Leica rear camera lenses, a longer-lasting battery and fingerprint sensor system. "The P10 and the P10 Plus will make every shot a cover shot," said Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei's consumer business group, at a presentation.

The company managed to gain ground on Samsung and Apple in terms of market share last year, increasing its share of the smartphone sector to 8.9 percent in 2016 from 7.3 percent a year earlier, according to the Gartner consultancy group. Samsung saw its market share shrink over the same period by two full percentage points to 20.5 percent and Apple contracted to 14.4 percent from 15.9 percent.

The P10 will sell for 649 euros ($685), the P10+ will cost 799 euros. Huawei also unveiled a 'smartwatch' that contains a sportier look than the first device it introduced two years ago, targeting fitness users.

In other vendor news, Nokia delivered on its strategy to lead in 5G, IoT and cloud, tap new growth markets. On the eve of MWC, Nokia's launches of solutions covering 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), software and cloud underscored the breadth and strength of a product portfolio bolstered by the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent in 2016.

Nokia outlined how the rapid execution of its new strategy is delivering industry-leading innovation for communication service providers in network speed, agility and efficiency, while broadening the company's footprint in faster-growing areas including software and the utilities and transport markets.

"Nokia comes to Mobile World Congress this year with a bigger and fully end-to-end portfolio to sell, and with groundbreaking innovations to share," Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri said.
"All of this is underpinned by an organization squarely focused on the execution of our strategy to lead in high-performance networks with communication service providers, expand to new verticals, build a strong standalone software business and create new business and licensing opportunities in the consumer ecosystem," he added.

New products like 5G FIRST, announced at the company's press and analyst event, showed Nokia's innovation strength to deliver differentiated products that connect not only millions of users but interconnect billions of things to create what Nokia calls the 'global nervous system,' Suri added.

Nokia 5G FIRST comprises its radio access network (RAN) including Nokia AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas, packet core and mobile transport solutions as well as a full service offer using Intel architecture and the Intel 5G modem for initial deployments starting in 2017. With the introduction of 5G FIRST, operators will gain a first-to-market advantage based on early specifications. In addition, Nokia will use the lessons learned through real-world deployment to contribute to final 3GPP standardization of the technology.

While each operator has its own timeline for moving to 5G, some leading providers are eager to take advantage of the extremely high capacity and low latency connectivity it promises to deliver. To meet early-adopter demands, Nokia confirmed it will make its commercial 5G FIRST end-to-end solution available later this year.

Leveraging Nokia's end-to-end network capabilities, 5G FIRST also incorporates the multi-access Nokia Cloud Packet Core and the Nokia Shared Data Layer as part of a cloud-native core architecture to deliver the flexibility, massive scalability and performance operators need to rapidly and cost-effectively deliver 5G services.

A comprehensive array of mobile transport offerings from Nokia address the critical capacity, reliability and latency requirements of the 5G era.  As a next step in a new technology collaboration with Intel, Nokia will leverage the Intel 5G modem for initial deployments of 5G FIRST to deliver ultra-broadband to the home using fixed wireless access as an alternative to existing fiber deployments.

To share insight on future innovations, Nokia also demonstrated a 5G wireless mmWave-based small cell deployment with self-backhauling capabilities. Using an innovative cloud-based mesh topology manager, it creates an in-band meshed network with self-organizing, self-healing and load-balancing capabilities.

What's more, SAP made a splash at MWC this year, demonstrating new technology to make life easier for drivers and rental car users through Internet of Things (IoT) in collaboration with Concur TechnologiesHertz and Nokia. A part of the SAP Leonardo portfolio, the SAP Vehicles Network solution creates an intelligent, automated experience - from car rental to parking and fueling location and payment, to integrated navigation and expense management for business travelers.

SAP also announced that Mojio, the connected vehicle platform and app provider for Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA, has joined SAP Vehicles Network and will provide parking and fueling through its app in the United States and Europe. SAP Vehicles Network, built on SAP Cloud Platform, enables participating network companies to provide mobility services to drivers and passengers.

By standardizing the business processes, SAP Vehicles Network enables integration and collaboration to facilitate new revenue streams and business opportunities for network members. Through the network, member companies can offer secure, convenient services - independent of devices or vehicles - such as parking, fueling and location-based food services, tailored for the business traveler or the individual consumer.

Leading operators looking to the future
Leading Qatari mobile operator Ooredoo showcased next-generation solutions and services on its pavilion at MWC, demonstrating the incredible progress it has made in recent years. The company took visitors on a journey from the days of voice and text through to the super-connected era of 4.5G and 5G now made possible by Ooredoo's advanced Supernet technologies.

Using a special video demonstration of 5G-enabled robotics, Ooredoo showed the faster and smoother performance of Ooredoo 5G and the potential for Internet of Things applications, with the reduced latency and high-speed network enabling real-time communication between machines.

Joining next-generation and lifesaving technology together, Ooredoo also premiered its 'Ooredoo Rescue' concept. Using pioneering drone technology, Ooredoo aims to enable Coast Guards to respond faster and more accurately to emergencies by providing a live video feed of the situation remotely and deploying an emergency raft via the drone. The Ooredoo Rescue solution includes a host of stations on a series of made-to-order buoys that are anchored around the coast. Each buoy is equipped with cameras, powered by solar technologies that can monitor the seas in real time.

Ooredoo also presented a broad range of mobile health solutions, including "You Click, We Care", which brings advanced medical monitoring and interaction straight to the home. Patients with chronic diseases can receive full medical attention from professionals with just one click on a mobile device, while advanced monitoring and alerting algorithms enable doctors to intervene as required before an emergency situation.

In addition, Zain Group was recognized as the winner of the GSMA's "Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry Award" for 2017. The award was presented to Zain Group and four other mobile operators Asiacell, Deutsche Telekom, Turkcell and Vodafone on 26 February 2017, the eve of Mobile World Congress, at the GSMA's annual Welcome Dinner at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, in the presence of His Majesty, King Felipe VI of Spain.

Zain's recognition in this manner was based on the work the telco continues to undertake around the region to assist and improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable sectors of society, including those fleeing the crisis in Syria. In particular, GSMA applauded Zain's creation of several commercial packages in the Middle East intended to facilitate connectivity, which is much needed amongst refugees and internally displaced people.

Another major development at MWC was the announcement of MoU's (Memorandum of Understanding) between Huawei and Zain Saudi Arabia. The collaboration between the two organizations will see them partner on a number of new technologies and services in an attempt to further develop the operator's ICT offering to its customers. In addition to this, the collaboration will also help them contribute significantly to the Kingdom's digital transformation goals.

Present at the signing of the MoU's were Zain Saudi Arabia CEO, Peter Kaliaropoulos and CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ramadan Ding. Under the first MoU, both companies will explore new avenues of cooperation to accelerate the Kingdom's digital transformation - which is one of the key factors of the Saudi 2030 Vision - as they define a network evolution path to help Zain deliver advanced services across its network.

Zain Saudi Arabia and Huawei have also identified several revenue-generating services to be implemented in the Kingdom, those of which rely on Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, like smart homes and utilities, connected cars, Huawei's MuchTV, Game RS and digital music services.
Another MoU will focus on Zain's B2B solutions and include developing a Fiber to the x (FTTX), Public Cloud domain and unified communication which will see launch of a business hotline and develop 15,000 SME in 2017.

Since the beginning of 2017, Zain Saudi Arabia and Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia have jointly announced a number of partnerships, with the most recent being the launch of a commercial NFV-based IMS network, which makes Zain the first operator in the world to move legacy networks onto clouds and simplify the network structure, resulting in a significant enhancement to the telecom provider's ability to cope with the future demand and network requirements.

Wrapping up on a positive note
On the third day of MWC, and in line with the event, Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications, Hi Excellency Jammal Jarrah, held a welcoming gathering with the Lebanese ICT Diaspora to provide updates about the Lebanese Telecom sector in a Q&A environment.

Five members in the panel were present with his Excellency, including Imad Kreidieh, head of the state-owned telecommunications company Ogero; Bassel Ayoubi, general director of investment and maintenance at the Ministry of Telecommunication; Naji Andraous, general director of installation and equipment; Naji Abboud, head of Owner Supervisory Board and the Minister's consultant Nabil Yamout. The conference was moderated by our very own Toni Eid, Editor-in-Chief of Telecom Review.

In his speech, the Minister of Telecommunication began by welcoming the Lebanese community present at Mobile World Congress, mentioning his astonishment with the Lebanese potential in the telecom sector and the diversification of the Lebanese skills in the region and abroad, knowing that most of the world's renowned companies comprise Lebanese people.

According to the Minister, the telecom sector is an essential pillar in the progress of any country, economically speaking. "It's part of the community's daily social and economical life. For this reason we have to enhance this sector as much as we can in order to keep pace with other nations and give the Lebanese community the best services," he said.

Published in Reports

Nokia get nostalgic as iconic ‘3310’ is relaunched at MWC

Written on Monday, 27 February 2017 13:32

Nokia has relaunched one of its most popular ever devices at MWC in Barcelona. The Finnish technology company has reintroduced the ‘3310’ – which was first launched to the mobile phone industry 17 years ago. Nokia’s ‘3310’ – is considered as an iconic handset due to its incredible popularity amongst customers in the early 00’s when Nokia dominated the mobile phone market.

One of the popular features of the ‘3310’ was its sturdiness and was revered for its incredible battery life that enabled the device to last for days without needing to be charged. More than 126 million were produced before the product was phased out in 2005.

However, at MWC, Nokia has unveiled its modern version of the ‘3310’. Some analysts are predicting great success for the new look Nokia in some regions – with the general consensus amongst technology experts that the reintroduction of the nostalgic handset is the best way to relaunch Nokia’s phone brand!

The revamped device will be sold under license by Finnish start-up firm HMD Global – who in addition to the ‘3310’ unveiled several Nokia-branded Android smartphones. Ben Wood, a technology consultant from CCS Insight said there was huge affection for the phone. He said “The 3310 was the first mass-market mobile and there's a massive amount of nostalgia and affection for it," commented Ben Wood from the technology consultancy CCS Insight. If HMD had just announced three Android devices they would have barely got a couple of column inches in the press. So, the 3310 is a very clever move and we expect it will sell in significant volumes."

Nokia made the announcement at the tech show in Barcelona which has once again drawn a massive crowd of technology exhibitors, vendors and tech experts to the Spanish city from all over the world. LG, Huawei and Lenovo have unveiled new devices at MWC. Nokia no longer makes phones itself, but manufactures telecoms equipment, Ozo virtual reality cameras, and health kit under the Withings brand.

The new 3310 qualifies as a "feature phone" rather than a smartphone as it only provides limited internet facilities. However, its advantage over more powerful handsets is its battery life. HMD says the color-screened phone has up to a month's standby time and delivers more than 22 hours of talk time.

It also comes with the modern version of the classic game Snake preinstalled. Its launch price is €49 ($51,75; £41.51) and it expected to be a big hit in regions such as India and the Philippines.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Finnish vendor Nokia plans to re-launch its classic 3310 mobile phone at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The phone, originally released in 2000, has been dubbed the ‘world’s most reliable phone’. The device will be sold for just 59 euros, and will likely be pitched as a reliable and hardy nostalgic item.

The 3310 model has been available to purchase, but only through Amazon, and not through the company itself. The range of features the device sports according to Amazon listings include a clock, calculator, the ability to store up to ten reminders, and four games (Snake II, Paris II, Space Impact, and Bantumi).

Nokia fell behind as a mobile phone brand when the smartphone trend kicked in, which the company failed to catch on to. The brand was eventually sold to Microsoft. However, Nokia has since targeted success by making new versions of old Nokia phones, such as the Nokia 215, which costs $29 and lasts for 29 days.

Phones under the Nokia brand are now sold by HMD Global, a Finnish company that purchased the rights to the Nokia name. HMD Global has said it plans to unveil other new Nokia phones at MWC, such as the Nokia 3, 5 and 6. However, these new Nokia phones will be smartphones unlike the re-launch of the original 3310.

Published in Devices

Finnish telecoms vendor Nokia recently reported its financial earnings for 2016 which showed a net loss of 766 million euros ($826 million). Nokia blames the sales and costs from acquiring and integrating Alcatel-Lucent for the “disappointing” loss in 2016. Nokia chief executive Rajeev Suri described 2016 as a “year of transition”.

Nokia’s financial results were “disappointing” according to Suri in a press statement, but he said the company is expected to perform better financially in 2017 “as market conditions improve.” The telecom giant has been going through a rapid process of transformation over the last few years as it acquired its rival Alcatel-Lucent. Nevertheless, Suri said: “We remain in a position of financial strength.”

Nokia once stood as the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer between 1998 and 2011, but the company was soon overtaken by Apple and South Korean rival Samsung after failing to respond to the rise of smartphones. In 2013 Nokia bought 50 percent of network activities from Germany’s Siemens, and the following year divested from its mobile phone business.

In 2015, Nokia sold its mapping unit ‘Here’. Then in late 2016, Nokia completed the deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent, which had only recorded one year of annual profit since its inception in 2006. Now, Nokia is showing signs of a comeback in the mobile market.

Nokia said in May 2016 it would license its brand to a new Finnish company which will produce phones and tablets under the Nokia name. The new company, HMD Global, "has been founded to provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones and tablets," Nokia said in a statement.

As part of the process, HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of FoxConn Technology Group, will take over Microsoft's feature phone business for $350 million (310.5 million euros), Microsoft said separately. The U.S. company had bought the business from Nokia in 2014.

Nokia sold its unprofitable handset unit in 2014 for some $7.2 billion to Microsoft, which dropped the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphone handsets. Meanwhile, Nokia has concentrated on developing its mobile network equipment business by acquiring Alcatel-Lucent. With the new deal, Nokia eyes some new revenues from its still valuable consumer-brand, without having to bear the financial risks related to it.

Nokia recently teased that it will be making some kind of announcement on 26 February, and has sent out a save the date for a Mobile World Congress 2017 press conference where it’s expected to be releasing a new device.

Published in Finance

Nokia, once the world's foremost phone maker, on Wednesday, May 18, announced its return to the fiercely competitive handsets and tablets market years after being crushed there by Samsung and Apple.

Nokia, which is now a leading telecom equipment maker, said it would licence its brand to a new Finnish company which will produce phones and tablets under the Nokia name. The new company, HMD Global, "has been founded to provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones and tablets," Nokia said in a statement.

As part of the process, HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of FoxConn Technology Group, will take over Microsoft's feature phone business for $350 million (310.5 million euros), Microsoft said separately. The U.S. company had bought the business from Nokia in 2014.

Nokia was once the world's leading mobile phone maker from 1998 until 2011 when it bet on Microsoft's Windows mobile platform which proved to be a flop. Analysts say the company failed to grasp the growing importance of smartphone apps compared to hardware. The new product portfolio will be based on Google's Android.

Nokia sold its unprofitable handset unit in 2014 for some $7.2 billion to Microsoft, which dropped the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphone handsets. Meanwhile Nokia has concentrated on developing its mobile network equipment business by acquiring its French-American rival, Alcatel-Lucent. With the new deal, Nokia eyes some new revenues from its still valuable consumer-brand, without having to bear the financial risks related to it.

"Working with HMD and FIH will let us participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world, while staying true to our licensing business model," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies business unit.

HMD is a private venture in which Nokia will not hold equity. But the company is well-stacked with former Nokia executives. A senior analyst at Nordea Markets, Sami Sarkamies, told AFP that Nokia "could only win" with the deal.

"Certainly Nokia's brand still has some appeal in some markets, but competition is harsh. However, Nokia won't bear any of the risks," Sarkamies said, estimating the extra revenues would be counted in tens, not hundreds, of millions of euros. The risks instead fall on Chinese FoxConn, which will be in charge of manufacturing, sales and distribution of the new products through its subsidiary FIH. As for Microsoft, the deal could mean the end of its short-lived venture into smartphones.

"The deal again highlights Microsoft's continued failure in mobile. Its smartphone future is up in the air," IHS Technology wrote in its analysis. IHS said the new Nokia-branded devices were more likely to succeed in emerging markets.

"The Nokia brand is very strong in certain markets too and HMD will likely target these emerging markets instead of the already saturated developed markets," it estimated.

HMD is to be led by Finn Arto Nummela who has previously held senior positions both at Nokia and Microsoft. The conditional deal between Microsoft and Nokia's new brand-licensing partners is expected to close in the second half of 2016. Nokia's shares advanced 2.91 percent to close at 4.67 euros on the Helsinki stock exchange.

Published in Devices