Monday, 21 November 2016

HMD To Launch New Nokia Phones At MWC '17

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HMD Global will be attending the 2017 Mobile World Congress in February next year to launch its first phones sporting N okie branding. This will be a landmark moment, both for Nokia and HMD, as this marks a real opportunity and risk for both companies.

For Nokia the risk is to its reputation. The smartphone market hasn't been kind to the company that ruled the mobile phone market. It failed with Symbian, failed again with Windows Phone and then ended up selling off its mobile division to Microsoft, who promptly wrote a the thing off.

That is a lot of damage for one reputation to bear, no matter how good it has been. After a decade of failure the Nokia name can ill afford to be linked to any more average phones.

For HMD there is significant financial risk to contend with. It paid upfront for a ten year license to the Nokia name. It has allegedly invested another $500m building the necessary infrastructure to shift and support Nokia phones once they exist.

It too cannot afford to launch any lame ducks.

The use of a well respected brand name with strong customer loyalty is no guarantee of success. Blackberry and Sony can attest to that. Neither is the use of Android. There are a whole heap of challengers out there ready to make life difficult for the new Nokia, and since HMD acquired its Nokia license Google has upped the ante with its own offering.

For all that customers loved Nokia in the past, the only way to ensure that they come back will be by launching something amazing at an exceptional price. Leaked specs of at least one of the new phones suggest this won't be the case.

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