Nokia-branded smartphones running Android are set to debut in 2017, according to a new phone section on the company's website. The company initially made the announcement back in May, and said the handsets would be Nokia in name only; another Finnish company, HMD Global Oy, licensed the Nokia name to make smartphones.
Microsoft acquired Nokia's hardware and services division back in 2014, but the experiment was a failure and the company sold the phone company in May to focus on its own Lumia line. The buyers were HMD and China's phone-making giant Foxconn. With the HMD deal, the Nokia name, at least via license, will be back on phones.
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The section on Nokia's website provides very little information besides some meaningless market jargon, a 2017 release date and confirmation the phones will run Android.
In 2014, Nokia brought out the Nokia X, a phone running a forked version of Android that looked a lot like the Windows Phone OS. The product was discontinued after three months following Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's phone division. These new phones will presumably run Google-supported Android that can install apps from the Google Play store.
Nokia and HMD are set to enter an extremely competitive market with Apple, Samsung and Google occupying the high-end and Xiaomi, Huawei and a number of other companies making both premium and low-cost devices running Android.
The Nokia brand name had some serious cachet with feature phones in the '90s and early 2000s, but it may not now. We're curious to see how HMD uses the name and if it can revive the phone brand following Microsoft's failure.