Nokia is Making a Comeback in 2017. How Can it be Relevant?

Nokia, the once technological leader in the phone industry, is looking to launch a new phone running the Android OS. Under HMD Global, which is led by Arto Nummela, Nokia will be revived in early 2017. HMD is an independent Finnish company and the agreement between HMD and Nokia is expected to last for at least 10 years. After Microsoft purchased Nokia’s devices and services division, it transformed the brand into a Windows Only Phone. Microsoft gained exclusive rights to use the Nokia name on their Windows phones. HMD took over the feature phone business that Nokia sold to Microsoft on Thursday, December 1, 2016 . It also has a licensing deal with Nokia giving it sole use of the brand on mobile phones and tablets for the next 10 years.

Further, the former managers at the Finnish startup have struck partnership agreements with Google and Foxconn. Foxconn will be manufacturing the smartphone. And HMD/Nokia’s role will no longer be as a manufacturer, but rather have a role similar that likens to HTC or Samsung. This means they will design the hardware and build the software. All manufacturing will be taken care of by Foxconn.

This news was confirmed by the CEO of HMD stating:

Today marks a happy and important day for HMD. 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.

Nokia and HMD have ambition goals for its new phone and tablet line ups. It expects to create a “ full range of Nokia branded tablets, smartphones for at least 10 years”.

So, How Can Nokia be Relevant in 2017?

Now, since Nokia will be running the Android OS, this means that HMD can tap into the Android ecosystem. It can also tap into its open-source architecture to modify the UI, and have strong compatibility with many online services.

Nokia will have to set its phones apart from brands such as the Google Pixel or Apple iPhone. It will need to design a meticulously crafted phone reflected in both the hardware and software that appeals to a wide range of consumers. If it can also focus on Artificial Intelligence like with the Google Pixel, then it will be one step ahead of not only Apple, but also a majority of Google’s partners.

And, if Nokia initially focuses its efforts in the South Asian, Asian and Eastern Europe markets, it would be able to transition into the dominant smartphone market more smoothly than if it were to release directly into the North American market. This is due to the fact that the Nokia brand already possesses strong prominence within these regions.

Though, the HMD President, Florian Seiche mentioned that they are not planning to “skip any markets in the long term”.

HMD have set up an additional 40 offices worldwide. So this is an indication that HMD wants to make the Nokia brand as international as possible.

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