Microsoft exec says at least four Nokia Android phones coming by 2017

Nokia re-entering the smartphone business has been on the cards for quite some time. And now a new report suggests a few Nokia handsets are indeed all set for a launch in Q4 2016.

According to the report, the Finnish giant has already given HMD Global the commercial rights to manufacture handsets under the Nokia branding, who is expected to release two Nokia handsets sometime this year. Besides, HMD Global is also expected to launch two new Nokia smartphones in early Q2 2017.

According to the publication –

According to James Rutherfoord, CEO of mobile device commodities of Microsoft Asia – Pacific, HMD Global (the owner of Nokia commercial rights for 10 years) planned to launch two new phone products in the fourth quarter 2016 and at least two smartphones in the early second quarter 2017.

Nokia will essentially adopt the same approach it did for its Android N1 tablet launched earlier, and use the same approach for mobile devices. The tablets were primarily designed and conceived by Nokia carrying the company’s branding, though was actually manufactured and sold by Foxconn.

As using this approach saves Nokia from the hassles of production and distribution, but still manages to retain the Nokia brand value and have complete control over the device’s design and hardware. This way, Nokia can ensure that the final product still lives up to the standards of the iconic Nokia brand name.

Licensing the Nokia brand to third party manufacturers is an intelligent strategy to re-enter the smartphone market after a three-year hiatus. While it may not accrue the same response that Nokia smartphones were known for known during its heydays, it’ll certainly keep the iconic brand alive.

It is also worth noting that Nokia cannot use its brand name on smartphones until Q4 2016, after the acquisition of its devices and services by Microsoft. The Finnish Telecom giant who was once the market leader, though lost its glory after the Microsoft deal when it decided that its phones will only be sold under the Windows branding. The partnership with Microsoft, however, turned out to be quite a disaster owing to the lack of popularity of the Windows Phone platform. And now it seems Nokia’s playing safe as its upcoming handsets would run Android.

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