Nokia brand to return to smartphones in 2017

Nokia Espoo HQ
Image: Nokia

Nokia’s brand will return to smartphones in 2017, the company confirmed during its Capital Markets Day earlier this month. Some are speculating the company could use a Mobile World Congress (MWC) keynote in late February/early March to unveil new handsets.

The Nokia brand’s return to phones was announced earlier this year when Nokia signed a deal enabling a company called HMD to create a new generation of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. But myriad news outlets are pointing to slides shown during the company’s Capital Markets Day in Barcelona where the company specifically lists 2017 as the return date.

Nokia slide
A slide from Nokia's Capital Markets Day presentation. Image: Nokia

Nokia’s first new Android smartphones are expected to be released in the second quarter of next year, but given that Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri is giving a keynote address during MWC, that led to speculation he could use the platform to tout the new products. However, that would seem to be a pretty short turn-around time between now and then. Back in October, GSM Arena put the chances of a phone announcement at “quite low.”

RELATED: Nokia makes return to mobile phone market via a new company called HMD

Earlier this year, Nokia granted HMD an exclusive global license to make Nokia-branded handsets and tablets for the next decade. HMD is also paying Nokia royalties for its cellular standard essential patent licenses.

Nokia’s return to smartphone branding will come after a circuitous route. As part of the arrangement, Microsoft agreed to sell HMD the right to use the Nokia brand on feature phones. It also said it was selling the manufacturing, sales and distribution parts of its feature-phone business to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of the manufacturing giant Foxconn.

As Tech Times pointed out, one of the devices expected to launch from Nokia when it re-enters the smartphone market is the Nokia D1C, a mid-range device with Android Nougat out of the box.