FATHER OF MOBILE PHONES NOKIA BACK IN THE GAME AFTER APPLE INDUCED COLLAPSE
Nokia-branded mobile phones are on sale, once again, and being marketed on the Finnish company’s website. For now, the range is limited to some pretty basic models, but that should change when Android-powered smartphones and tablets are added soon.
It’s thanks to a deal with a small team based at a business park on the fringes of Helsinki, who are engaged in what will seem to many a foolhardy mission.
They call themselves HMD Global – and they believe they can make Nokia a big name in mobile phones once again.
I met Arto Nummela, Pekka Rantala and Florian Seiche in a cafe on what is still the Nokia campus.
After the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Nokia faltered and by 2011 was on what its first American chief executive, Stephen Elop, called a burning platform.
Then, the phone business was sold to Microsoft, which soon found it had made a disastrous purchase as the Nokia Windows combination failed to claim a significant slice of a market dominated by Apple’s iOS and Android.
Now, the Finnish business – which remained a big force in telecoms infrastructure after the sale of the mobile unit – has licensed the Nokia brand to HMD Global, which aims to take it back to the future.
HMD Global will not manufacture the phones – they have a deal with Foxconn, which will build them in China and Vietnam – so its focus will be on the design and the marketing.