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Unread 2016-05-18, 10:08 AM   #1
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Default Nokia phones find a new champion, with Android at its side

Microsoft will sell its low-end phone business for $350 million, and a new Finnish company called HMD will sell Nokia-branded, Android-powered phones and tablets.

Nokia, the Finnish company that embodied the mobile phone revolution until Silicon Valley giants pushed it aside, will live on again as phone brand.


Undoing a portion of its 2014 acquisition of Nokia's phone business, Microsoft is selling off its low-end phone unit as part of a $350 million deal announced Wednesday that will see about 4,500 employees leave the company. The buyers are FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn, and a new Finland-based company called HMD Global.


HMD will make Nokia-branded phones using Google's Android software, "uniting one of the world's iconic mobile brands with the leading mobile operating system and app development community," Finland's Nokia Technologies said in a statement.
Arto Nummela, currently head of Microsoft's feature phone business, will become chief executive of HMD.
HMD The deal gives HMD exclusive rights for 10 years to sell Nokia-branded phones and tablets. Its CEO-to-be is Arto Nummela, a former Nokia exec who now leads Microsoft's mobile business in Asia, the Middle East and Africa and its lower-end feature phone business, which includes Asha and Nokia-branded phones. He's betting heavily on that brand.
"We will be completely focused on creating a unified range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, which we know will resonate with consumers," Nummela said in a statement. "Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, which is why our business model is centered on the unique asset of the Nokia brand, and our extensive experience in sales and marketing."


It's been a rough decade for Microsoft and Nokia, two tech giants that have lost much of their clout among consumers with the rise of Apple, Google and their allies. Feature phones, lower-end models that lack the computing power and wealth of apps found on higher-end phones, still sell in large numbers to cost-conscious buyers. But few see them as the future.


HMD will pay Microsoft about $20 million for feature-phone brand and design rights, a Nokia representative said. FIH will pay about $330 million for the manufacturing facility and the sales and distribution network.


Microsoft agreed to acquire Nokia's phone business in 2013 in an effort to become relevant in a phone market dominated by Apple's iPhone and by companies such as Samsung that embraced Google's Android software. But the move failed to turn around the business.


Microsoft's own Windows-powered phones, now stripped of the Nokia brand, remain rarities. Microsoft laid off thousands of employees in its phone division in 2015 and isn't giving top priority to its Windows phone software.


For higher-end phones, Microsoft will continue to develop its Windows 10 Mobile software and the Lumia phones that run it. It'll also continue to work with manufacturing partners including Acer, Alcatel, HP and Vaio on Windows-powered phones, Microsoft said.


HMD's manufacturing partner will be FIH, which will take over Microsoft Mobile Vietnam and its Hanoi factory when the Microsoft deal closes in the second half of 2016. About 4,500 Microsoft employees will transfer to FIH and HMD or have the opportunity to do so, Microsoft said.
Editors' note: The photo at top shows an array of historic Nokia phones, from the company's then-headquarters in Espoo, Finland, several years before the Microsoft acquisition.
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Unread 2017-01-07, 11:56 PM   #2
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Nokia's first Android smartphone is now official in China



HMD Global isn't waiting until MWC to launch its first Android phone.
In a low-key affair, HMD Global ó the Finnish company that snagged exclusive rights to Nokia's branding ó has launched its first Android smartphone. Dubbed the Nokia 6, the phone will be exclusively offered on China's JD.com for •1,699 ($245).

The phone itself is crafted out of aluminium, with HMD Global describing the process thusly:
It takes 55 minutes to machine a single Nokia 6 from a solid block of 6000 series aluminium. It then receives two separate anodising processes, taking over ten hours to complete, with each phone being polished no less than five times. The end result is an aluminium unibody with the highest level of visual and structural quality.
In terms of hardware, the Nokia 6 offers a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass, Snapdragon 430 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD slot, dual-SIM connectivity, 16MP camera at the back with PDAF, Dolby Atmos sound, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE, 3000mAh battery, and a fingerprint sensor. The phone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
With 552 million smartphone users, China is a "strategically important market" for HMD Global, which is why it is launching its first handset in the country. The brand is set to launch six phones under the Nokia name this year, so we should hear more about its plans at Mobile World Congress. If the Nokia 6 is any indication, it's going to be an exciting year for the brand.
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Unread 2017-02-26, 12:15 PM   #3
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Nokia 3310 reboot gives us a healthy dose of nostalgia












Itís 2017 and yet here we are, being hyped up over a candy bar not-so-smart phone. Iíll have to admit, I never thought anyone would ever again get excited over a non-smartphone but Nokiaís 3310 resurrection has managed to strike a strong sense of nostalgia in all of us. So what exactly does the new Nokia 3310 reboot bring to the table? Good question.
First, it isnít a smartphone. And yes, itís even a stretch for us to cover it since it doesnít run Android, but we couldnít resist! The Nokia 3310 offers a similar design to the original, though it isnít without some pretty crucial improvements. First, the display has upgraded to a 2.4-inch QVGA color display, something that the original 3310 didnít offer. Nokia also upgraded the software to Nokia Series 30+, added a 2MP camera, and even a modern microSD slot.
Second, the new design comes in multiple colors and offers a completely revamped version of the classic ďSnakeĒ. Nokia also says the phone has a battery that can last a month in standby and that the phone features the classic Nokia ringtone. And thatís about it. Obviously the new Nokia 3310 is more about hyping up the brand than anything, but could it be worth picking up? If you need a secondary backup phone, why not? It could also be handy for those that Ė for whatever reason Ė still prefer not to make the move to a smartphone.
The Nokia 3310 is certainly affordable enough, setting users back $52 or 49 Euros
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Unread 2017-07-20, 09:51 PM   #4
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HMD Global CEO leaves abruptly ahead of Nokia 8 launch



This is an odd one.
HMD Global (better known as just "HMD"), the company now making Nokia-branded phones, has parted ways with CEO Arto Nummela despite the company being in the middle of a re-launch of the Nokia brand. HMD calls this a "mutual agreement," which sounds rather ominous and adds to the confusion over why Nummela would leave as the company seems as though it's on an upswing.

HMD's new Nokia 3, 5, and 6, as well as the nostalgia-laden Nokia 3310, have been on the radar of many since launching earlier in the year at the MWC trade show. The Nokia 8, which is expected to launch soon, is supposed to be a proper flagship device that will compete at the top end of the market above $600. It's a far riskier bet than the budget-focused Nokia phones and one that could be a pivotal point for HMD's strategy with the Nokia brand.
HMD's board chairman Sam Chin had this to say on Nummela's departure:
Arto Nummela has played a key role in the creation of the HMD Global operation, building the team and launching our first products. On behalf of the whole Board, I thank Arto for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavors.
While HMD looks for a new CEO, the current President and founder Florian Seiche has taken on the acting CEO role immediately.
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