Nokia licensee HMD to start selling smartphones under its own name

Nokia licensee HMD to start selling smartphones under its own name
HMD, the company that currently makes Nokia handsets under a license, will be producing HMD branded smartphones according to the company's Chairman, and CEO Jean-Francois Baril. On LinkedIn (via TheVerge), the executive published a post on Monday that said, "I am thrilled to announce a significant milestone in HMD's evolution - we are establishing an original HMD brand. You can expect to see a new portfolio of HMD-branded mobile devices, as well as Nokia devices and collaboration with exciting new partners."

Baril says, "It has been a great journey as 'HMD – the home of Nokia phone'’ – an exclusive position we have held for the past six years. Now we are ready for the next step on our journey - to enter the market independently as a force to create a new world for telecommunications focused on consumer need." HMD started building Nokia phones in late 2016 with the Nokia 150 and 150 Dual SIM feature phones. HMD's first Android phone, the Nokia 6, was announced early in 2017. No time frame was mentioned for the release of HMD's first self-branded phone.

HMD is the fastest-growing 5G smartphone manufacturer year-over-year according to its Chairman and CEO. The company is doing what it can to keep up with Nokia's iconic past in the smartphone business and in 2018 it bought the PureView trademark from Microsoft. The latter had acquired it when it bought Nokia's smartphone business and the name was first used on the Nokia 808 PureView, a Symbian-powered handset that launched in June 2012.

There was nothing said in the announcement that would indicate how HMD-branded handsets might differ from those with the Nokia brand. Recent Nokia models have been low-priced budget models or mid-range devices. A good example is the Nokia C300 which was released in June with a 6.5-inch HD display (720 x 1600 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate) and equipped with a Snapdragon 662 chipset.

HMD Global was created from the Nokia phone business that Nokia sold to Microsoft in 2014 and repurchased in 2016 by Foxconn founder Terry Gou who is the majority owner of HMD Global. One thing that you can count on is that Foxconn will be assembling the new HMD-branded phones.

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