Nokia is set to release a new smartphone next year, with the company confirming in a corporate presentation that 2017 would see the “Nokia brand’s return to smartphones”.
It is thought that the smartphone will be officially announced at February’s Mobile World Congress. Nokia’s chief executive Rajeev Suri will make a keynote speech at the Congress, while the company will also have a stall.
The company had dominated the mobile phone market in the 1990s, but fell out of fashion when smartphones began gaining in popularity. In 2011, Nokia embarked on a long-term partnership with Microsoft, manufacturing smartphones sold under the Lumia brand. Three years later, Nokia sold the device arm of its business to Microsoft.
The last Nokia-branded Lumia device was released in September 2014.
Nokia has since partnered with Finnish company HMD, which created its HMD global Oy business to create smartphones under the Nokia brand. HMD global Oy will be responsible for manufacturing the new smartphones.
When HMD global Oy was established, the company said it “intends to leverage and grow Nokia’s global brand reach, delivering beautifully designed, high quality products to people all over the world in line with Nokia’s brand promise”.
HMD is set to invest over $500 million (£402 million) over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets, which will be funded by its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.
The company has also conditionally agreed to acquire the rights to use the Nokia trademark from Microsoft on feature phones until 2024.
Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, said that the partnership with HMD “marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name”.
Although no details about the smartphones have been released, it is expected that the new devices will run on Android.