Published: Fri, May 20, 2016
Technology | By Timothy Carter

Microsoft offloads featurephones, Nokia re-enters handset market via HMD

Former rubber boot maker Nokia is back in the mobile phone and tablet business after flogging its previous loss making empire to Microsoft which trashed it. Microsoft continues the production of the high-end Lumia smart phones, which will use Windows platforms.

Optimizing the sufficient supply of display products from Sharp to make Nokia-branded feature phones for global sales seems to be a safe and lucrative, as well as an affordable investment for Foxconn.

The company released a statement, confirming that it will be granting HMD an exclusive global license to build mobile phones and tablets with Nokia branding for the next decade. FIH Mobile is actually a Foxconn company, which has received the manufacturing rights.

Arto Nummela, who previously held senior positions with Nokia and is now senior executive within Microsoft's mobile devices business, has been recruited to take up the CEO position on closing of the Microsoft transaction.

He shared that feature phones were never a part of Microsoft's business strategy when it purchased Nokia's mobile devices business.

In an announcement, Microsoft said it will "continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and phones from OEM partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity and VAIO".

But it held on to its phone patents with a view to eventually striking a licensing deal, though it had to wait due to a non-compete deal with Microsoft. But now, after a long and tedious journey of ups and downs, the big daddy of mobile phones has announced its re-entry into the scenario, in the form of Android smartphones and tablets!

"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.

The Nokia brand has always been kept in the dark but the recent deal involving Microsoft and FIH Mobile Ltd. may pave the way for a possible resurrection of the once popular brand. However while it is clear that HMD/Nokia will not be a manufacturers of mobile devices it remains unclear as to whether it will even perform its own design.

Only time can tell how this deal benefits all the parties involved, but the Nokia brand being revived is indeed something exciting to look forward to.



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