Nokia has announced that it is returning to the world of smartphones and it's turning to Android as its platform of choice.
Few companies have a smartphone history as rich as Nokia. Having dominated the mobile phone market and feature phone markets for many years, the splitting of the company's skills to give Microsoft its Lumia devices business, can't really be seen as a huge success.
On 18 May 2016, however, Nokia confirmed that it has reached an agreement that will see it back in the phone business, with plans to launch smartphones, tablets and feature phones carrying the Nokia brand.
This isn't as straight-forward as Nokia getting back to the grind. Instead, it has come about through the formation of a new company, HMD, who has been granted a worldwide license to produce Nokia-branded devices over the next 10 years.
But what about Microsoft? In this game of corporate jiggery-pokery, HMD has also announced that it has reached a conditional agreement to acquire the Nokia rights back from Microsoft. This side of the transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2016, so there's some way to go before we'll see a Nokia Android flagship.
Under this agreement, Nokia will grant various licenses to HMD in return for royalty payments, but won't be financially investing in the company. It will, however, sit on the board of directors, to ensure that those HMD devices reach the expectations of Nokia's brand.
The CEO of HMD is set to be Arto Nummela, previously of Nokia and Microsoft devices, and the president will be Florian Seiche, SVP at Microsoft, formerly of HTC and Nokia.
Microsoft will stay developing Lumia Windows 10 devices, but has offloaded much of its feature phone business at the same time.
Technicalities aside, this is an exciting day both for Nokia and for Android. It will see the return of Nokia to our shelves, bringing with it huge brand power. As Nokia itself says, there's still a lot of work to do, but it promises "quality, design, and innovation."
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