Nokia to Return Courtesy Microsoft’s $350M Deal with HMD & FIH Mobile
When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s device business, map services, patents and services business, many people were skeptical whether Microsoft will retain the Nokia brand or completely do away with it. As fate happened, all the smartphones post-acquisition came branded with Microsoft logo on the top.
In a very interesting turn of events, Microsoft has struck a licensing deal with two companies, FIH Mobile – subsidiary of Foxconn, and HMD Global Oy, a Finnish smartphone manufacturer, worth $350 Million.
The deal is expected to sell Microsoft’s feature-phone business, softwares, services and a smartphone manufacturing facility in Vietnam to the two companies. 4500 employees of Microsoft will also have an option of joining either of the companies, depending on requirements and local laws.
HMD will also have the rights to brand the produced smartphones and tablets with ‘Nokia’ for the next ten years. What does this mean? Yes, you’ll see Nokia branded smartphones in the market in a few months time. Foxconn will simply be manufacturing these smartphones for HMD from now on.
In a blog post, Microsoft has confirmed that it will provide support to existing smartphones, “Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and phones from OEM partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity and VAIO.”
Downfall of Microsoft Mobile and rise of Nokia?
Some people lost their minds over the fact that Microsoft was killing the iconic Nokia brand, which was considered one of the best feature-phones producer in India. Every household had atleast one Nokia phone and they created ripples at a time smartphones were not common.
After this news of Microsoft’s feature-phone business sellout, it is quite clear that the US-based company was not reaping any benefits from selling Lumia phones and clearly the deal was required to focus on Windows 10 and cloud.
Smartphones might be ubiquitous these days, but you can’t discount the fact that feature-phones are equally important in developing nations where not everyone can own a decently-powered smartphone. The Nokia brand might not make a huge impact in developed countries like the US and the UK, but it will strike the right chord with Asians.
Interestingly, Nokia’s feature-phones in India gradually evolved to internet-ready phones with better screen sizes, processors and battery life.
Hopefully there will be no more new Microsoft branded smartphones in the market, and Nokia will move away from Windows all for good. Android being the most important player in the Mobile OS space, it makes sense to manufacture Android-powered Nokia smartphones to make that comeback.
Keep watching this space for more news about Nokia’s possible comeback and new smartphones launches. Will you switch to Nokia from your existing smartphone manufacturer? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: Microsoft News Center