Microsoft Sells Off Nokia's Phone Business For $350 Million

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Nokia was once the largest cellphone manufacturer in the world. This Finland-based company manufactured high-quality devices and sold them all over the world, but they’ve failed to adapt to the smartphone world. Nokia first pushed their Symbian and MeeGo operating systems, and when that failed, they’ve signed an exclusivity agreement with Microsoft and manufactured only Windows Phone devices. That was a huge mistake by Nokia considering Microsoft purchased their Devices and Services business at one point, which left Nokia high and dry basically. The company did manage to release an Android-powered tablet (manufactured by Foxconn), the Nokia N1, back in 2014, but that tablet had limited availability, which was unfortunate.

The company has announced a while back that they’re going to be back in the hardware business later this year, and they’ve also purchased Alcatel-Lucent quite some time ago, but due to their agreement with Microsoft, they were not allowed to use Nokia brand to manufacture smartphones until 2022. That being said, something interesting happened quite recently. Microsoft has sold what’s left of Nokia’s feature phone business to FIH Mobile, Foxconn’s subsidiary. The deal is worth $350 million dollars, and Nokia has announced that they will keep on pushing mobile phones and tablet out to the market on a global basis. Now, in addition to this, Nokia has announced that they’re giving HMD global Oy (HMD), a global license to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years. Nokia will receive royalty payments from sales, as expected. You might be wondering where did HMD comes from? Well, this is a new company founded to manufacture Nokia-branded devices basically. The deal between Microsoft and Foxconn (FIH, that is) is not concluded yet though, it is expected to close in the second half of this year. Interesting enough, HMD plans on investing quite a significant amount of money over the next three years in order to market Nokia’s products, they’re going to splash out $500 million as an investment.

Many of you might be wondering does this include smartphones, or are only dumbphones in play? It definitely includes smartphones, the company has even announced that they plan to release devices based on Android, which are great news. Foxconn has basically secured Nokia’s mobile business with this move, and it will certainly going to be interesting to see what kind of Nokia devices will HMD manufacture moving forward. Nokia has confirmed that they will provide HMD with branding rights and essential patent licenses in return for royalty payments, but won’t be investing in the company, though they will be included in the decision making it seems. Nokia will be a part of HMD’s Board of Directors and will set mandatory brand requirements in order to keep the brand under control to some extent.