HMD Global, the Finnish startup with license to sell Nokia-branded smartphones, was the surprise story of 2017. The company came out of nowhere and leveraged the Nokia-brand to make a strong impact in a highly competitive smartphone market.
Microsoft wrote off its over $7 billion acquisition of Nokia Mobile in 2015, and agreed to sell the Nokia branding rights to HMD Global and Foxconn in 2016. The deal allowed the Finnish company to sell Nokia-branded mobile devices and continue paying royalties to Nokia Technologies. As part of the deal, HMD Global first introduced feature phones in late 2016 but its first smartphone came out in 2017.
In January last year, HMD Global launched Nokia 6 running Android exclusively for the Chinese smartphone. However, its real smartphone ambitions came into light with the launch of Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 at Mobile World Congress in February last year.
Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global has revealed that the company has grand plans for MWC 2018. He tweeted, “Sorry for radio silence. Been super busy planning #MWC2018 . Please expect it to be awesome.”
Sorry for radio silence. Been super busy planning #MWC2018 . Please expect it to be awesome 😎
— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) January 18, 2018
It is likely that HMD Global will make Nokia 6 (2018), which was launched in China early this month, available globally at MWC next month. Alongside Nokia 6 (2018), the company is also anticipated to launch Nokia 7 for the global market. Nokia 7 with metal and glass back has been available exclusively in China since October last year.
However, the big reveal could be the much-rumored Nokia 9, the flagship smartphone with thin bezels and display supporting the 18:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone is expected to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset coupled with 6GB RAM, and up to 128GB storage. The rumors suggest it will sport dual rear camera setup with Zeiss optics, and one of the image sensor is expected to act as a telephoto lens.
The updated Nokia Camera app has already revealed that HMD Global plans to add 2x optical zoom and wide-angle mode to its smartphone lineup this year. Yes, there might be one more thing moment in the form of 4G-enabled Nokia 3310. HMD Global resurrected Nokia 3310 at MWC last year and then quickly added a 3G version of it. Now the much loved feature phone is expected to turn modern with 4G support.
The feature phone has stopped by at China’s TENAA, and has revealed that it might run a forked version of Android developed by Chinese tech giant Alibaba called YunOS. It is not immediately clear what is the purpose behind switching from Symbian to Android version since the device has limited memory option. Another device could be the Nokia 1, an entry-level device based on Android Oreo (Go edition).
Like other tech companies, HMD Global also does not share any details about future products but one thing is certain, it needs more than nostalgia to be acceptable this year.