Over the past few years, Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia went through a rough patch and ownership of the company’s mobile division was exchanged multiple times. It was bought by Microsoft in 2014 and the brand continued to live on under the “Lumia” umbrella, but earlier this year Microsoft sold its Nokia feature phone business to a new Finnish-based company called HMD Global, which ironically enough, is largely comprised of ex-Nokia employees. HMD also signed a licensing agreement for exclusive use of the “Nokia” brand on mobile devices, and the transaction between Microsoft and HMD finalized only a few days ago, on December 1st. Now HMD Global is gearing up for the release of new Android-powered Nokia smartphones, and recently the company’s CEO, Arto Nummela, was interviewed by The Economic Times and revealed some of his company’s plans for Nokia-branded smartphones going forward.
HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela joined the Nokia team in 1994 and he has been a part of the industry ever since. Nevertheless, during the recent interview, the CEO claimed that he has “never had an easier time recruiting people” for his company, even compared to back when he was part of old Nokia. He also confirmed that a large part of HMD Global’s top leadership team is comprised of former Nokia executives. As for how HMD Global will conduct its business, the first Android-powered Nokia smartphones are expected to hit the market by June 2017 and interestingly enough, the CEO revealed that HMD Global intends to release smartphones and feature phones in a similar manner, without favoring certain markets over others. Instead, the company will aim for global availability “at the start of operations.”
Nummela also discussed the location where the upcoming Nokia-branded smartphones will be manufactured, and unsurprisingly, these devices will be largely (or solely) manufactured by Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) in its numerous factories in various locations including India. However, the CEO added that it will be Foxconn’s decision “[…] on where they want to have those factories. We’re counting on them to drive the business that we want to grow going forward.” Lastly, when asked about price points, the CEO said that HMD Global will offer handsets at a wide variety of prices, adding that “India is one of our key markets”. Either way, the company aims to avoid the exclusion of any consumer segments and promises “[…] premium execution in each and every price point […].”