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Nokia-branded, Android-powered smartphones set to arrive in 2017

By Shawn Knight
Dec 1, 2016
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  1. Before Google, Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Huawei and a host of other modern-day handset makers rose to prominence, Nokia ruled the roost. From the late ‘90s through the early 2000s, mobile phones like the Nokia 5110 and Nokia 3310 were ubiquitous (remember Snake?).

    Much like BlackBerry years later, Nokia became content with its lead and failed to make the transition to smartphones. A series of failed ventures with Microsoft over the last several years did little to help the cause.

    In May of this year, Microsoft sold off what was left of the feature phone business to Finnish firm HMD Global. The company also signed a licensing deal that gives it exclusive use of the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets for the next decade.

    On Thursday, HMD Global announced its intentions to become a major player in the global smartphone market. Its path to reaching that goal will begin in the first half of 2017 with the arrival of the first Nokia-branded smartphone products running Google’s Android mobile operating system. The company has enlisted the help of FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn, to handle manufacturing duties.

    Led by a number of former Microsoft and Nokia employees, HMD Global likely gives the Nokia brand the best chance yet to succeed in a smartphone-first world. That said, brand loyalty only goes so far. Given today’s fiercely competitive landscape and the fact that several key markets are becoming saturated, finding success won’t be easy.

    Lead image courtesy Kacper Pempel, Reuters

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,512   +503

    I think it CAN be a huge success, if they make a decent to good phone and take advantage of people's nostalgia plus the now widely used Android OS it might make take off decently.
     
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,920   +687

    If Nokia can keep it's rep with phones that are nearly bomb proof, I would consider one. If they can make them look as fancy as the N85 I would absolutely interested.
     
    Odium likes this.
  4. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Guru Posts: 563   +178

    For me, the perfect sweet spot for a cell phone would be the Lumia line with Android OS. Awesome design, nice equipment, fast (enough), and extreme value.
     
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,509   +2,056

    I dunno so much. Making a decent to good phone goes without saying, all manufacturers have to do that irrespectively otherwise they won't be around very long. The only advantage they've got, or rather had, is it's name and that lustre has dulled. Just like Blackberry, they'll never, ever be the force they once were. It's sad, I liked their phones, always bought them but I'm afraid fading into obscurity will most likely be their fate. I hope I'm wrong.
     
  6. Kunming

    Kunming TS Enthusiast Posts: 63   +17

    Nokia is just a zombie at this point. Keeps dying and coming back to life.
     
  7. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Guru Posts: 529   +37

    I have to agree. They won't survive. Especially with so many good/new companies, Chinese included that are offering GREAT phones for great prices then why would I care about Nokia? Hello even big companies with rich history are barely making it (LG, HTC, etc) so how on earth will Nokia make it?
     
    Kunming likes this.
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,324   +711

    Things HMD-Nokia really needs to do in order to carve out its niche:

    1) Make Nokia-level hardware again, I.e. mildly stylish but "life-proof". New devices should be tough, have great reception and battery life just like the great phones of yesteryear.
    2) Make Android as easy to use as iOS or Symbian. This is a HUGE opportunity. We have jumped the shark on UI design, with far too much swiping and fiddling just to accomplish basic tasks. Older UIs were straightforward, intuitive and *fast*. Nokia could lead the way back to that superior paradigm, with a highly usable running app manager, kill functions for apps that lack a "close" button, etc.
    3) Realistic pricing: Nokia's traditional pricing was usually a little higher than its competitors even for very similar hardware. They should aim squarely for the mass market with only a couple of high-end flagships for the more affluent or status-conscious. And those flagships should aim to exceed the competition's top offerings in terms of ease-of-use, design and features.
    4) Create a great QWERTY experience for the small but devoted crowd that desperately needs it. Blackberry has rendered itself irrelevant by leaving behind everything that made it great. A new E series large enough for human hands would be a godsend and devotees WILL buy it even if its got last-gen specs.
    5) Build, buy or partner with a secure cloud. Android scares off the security-conscious. HMD-Nokia could remedy this by providing alternative contact, calendar and messaging services that Google can't read.
    6) ADVERTISE, particularly in the US. Blackberry didn't and people forgot about them, even when they finally released some competitive hardware. Don't rely on the myth of social marketing to get the word out.

    I'd love to see Nokia make a comeback and make quality and practicality keystones of mobile design once more.
     
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +388

    If the Nokia smartphones are "as good" as the top tier (ie:EXPENSIVE) phones, but more down to Earth
    pricing...in the 300-400 range, they might do ok, but, unless their phone has something that makes it
    standout from the pack, they will just end up as a "retro" device.
    Smartphones all look alike, work alike etc. If any one smartphone maker wants to really push their brand
    out in front of all the others it needs to set itself apart (no not the Nokia N-gage) from the pack and INNOVATE something unique, that people say "I gotta have that!". Just building a smartphone, slapping
    the Nokia name on it, won't cut it.
     
  10. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Booster Posts: 189   +88

    They are done. They better go into roasting chickens than going back to the table. They might get old people or nokia museum collectors. Oh I missed those days where a top end symbian Nokia was worth USD800.
     
  11. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Guru Posts: 529   +37

    You think Symbian was easy to use? Wait. Are we talking good ole Non Touch Symbian or Nokia 5800 Touch Symbian? I had the 5800. It was pretty terrible IMO.
     
  12. kissx

    kissx TS Enthusiast Posts: 55

    I still have to say the Ngage QD was my best phone. used it from 2005 to 2010.
     
  13. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,324   +711

    Non-touch, but it really made no difference - they were all quite functional and straightforward. I don't know the exact versions although my experience is with the E series devices of the early-to-mid 2000's. Of course just about any mobile OS was easier to use back then compared to the trash UIs we're stuck with today. Heck, even Android was much better when it first debuted!
     

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