Nokia Name On The Way Back

Microsoft has sold the feature phone business it acquired from Nokia to FIH, a Foxconn venture that will take ownership of manufacturing plant, operating systems and 4,500 employees. This is just the first step on the road to making the Nokia brand a mobile powerhouse once more.
The other foot landed earlier today when Nokia announced that it will be licensing its brand to HMD Global - which is closely tied to Foxconn - for use in a range of smartphones and tablets. These will be running Android, much like the existing Foxconn manufactured Nokia N1.
Whether the last few years of upheaval, discord and takeovers have left anything of the Nokia brand's reputation intact remains to be seen. I suspect that the brand was so strong in the pre-iPhone mobile world that it still has some respect and customer loyalty to play on. That effect will be more noticeable in developing countries, where much of the chaos of the last four years will probably have gone unnoticed.
For Foxconn its an opportunity to move from contract manufacturer to true competitor without having to build itself a reputation. That could potentially put it ahead of other Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Huawei - if it can deliver the same sort of quality for its own products as it does for Apple and others.
For Microsoft it's a distraction removed and it can now focus on the mobile handsets it needs to deliver. Although given that it earned more from Nokia feature phones than it did from Lumias there may be some financial adjustment to make.
The day when  more Nokia phones are sold running Android than devices running Windows 10 Mobile looks to be just over the horizon.


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