Nokia-branded phones will live on thanks to HMD Global acquisition

The brand design of the iconic phone company will continue to prosper under new licensing agreements.

Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets will continue to be produced over the next 10 years.

Finnish private firm HMD Global acquired the company’s branding and licensing rights from Microsoft earlier this week. The deal looks to be finalised by the end of June.

The deal involved acquiring production rights for Nokia’s “feature phone” business, otherwise known as non-smartphones or “dumbphones”. Nokia says these basic handsets “remain one of the most popular choices of mobile phone in many markets around the world today”.

However, HMD has said it will also be producing a range of smartphones and tablets alongside these, which will be based on Android instead of Nokia’s Symbian OS system.

Microsoft originally acquired the Nokia brand in 2013 with a ten-year licence for its products such as the Lumia and Asha phones, which meant a potential phase out of the Nokia branding. The HMD acquisition quashes rumours that the Nokia brand could be disappearing from mobile phones by 2023.

HMD plans to invest $500m (£343m) over the next three years in marketing Nokia-branded products.

In a statement, HMD’s chief executive and ex-Nokia employee Arto Nummela says: “Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, which is why our business model is centred on the unique asset of the Nokia brand and our extensive experience in sales and marketing.”

HMD will work with iPhone manufacturer, Foxconn, which bought Nokia’s sales, distribution and manufacturing arm, to produce the phones.

Nokia will also have a say in the HMD and Foxconn partnership. It will sit on the board of directors at HMD Global and be able to set mandatory branding requirements.

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