Photo: Viet Tuan
Nokia will also begin manufacturing in Vietnam, utilizing Google's Android system, but no timeframe was given.
Nokia will be launching new products in Vietnam without announcing exact kinds of feature and smartphone products.
But Nokia also refused to elaborate on the time for the launch in Vietnam. “Vietnam is a key market for us and we will surely be launching our new products including both Android smartphones and feature phones in Vietnam,” Mr. Flann Gao, the representative from HMD Global Oy (HMD) told VET on December 7. “We will be manufacturing from Vietnam, too.”
On December 1, Nokia Corporation announced that the strategic agreement covering branding rights and intellectual property licensing with HMD, originally announced on May 18, 2016 has come into force. HMD will bring a new generation of mobile phones to consumers, with the first Android smartphone products set to be launched in the first half of 2017, alongside the existing Nokia branded feature phone business.
Earlier, there was information about two models of Nokia feature phones being launched by the end of this year in Vietnam but the phone maker declined to elaborate on its plans to return to the country. A Microsoft representative declined to comment when asked about the move by VET on August 17.
In July, Mr. James Rutherfoord, CEO of Mobile Device Commodities of Microsoft Asia - Pacific, told a meeting with the FPT Trading Company that two new feature phones and two new smartphones would be launched in the fourth quarter of this year and the second quarter of next year.
In April 2014, Microsoft purchased Nokia’s mobile phone business for $5 billion. Microsoft Vietnam said the deal will see Microsoft transfer all of its feature phone assets, including brands, software and services, customer contracts and supply agreements to FIH Mobile and HMD Global.
The launch of HMD comes just six months after the company signed a strategic licensing agreement with Nokia, giving HMD exclusive use of the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next 10 years.
HMD has developed a unique strategic partnership model that will see it working with some of the world’s leading technology companies including Nokia, FIH Mobile Limited (FIH) and Google. Future Nokia smartphones will utilize Google’s Android operating system, currently deployed on 86 per cent of the world’s smartphones.
A cornerstone of HMD’s partnership model is an agreement with FIH, a global consumer electronics manufacturing and technology powerhouse that will manufacture Nokia branded mobile phones and tablets, guaranteeing quality of manufacture and innovation at scale as well as giving access to FIH’s world-class research and development capability.
HMD is developing an exciting new consumer centric product range which will focus on innovation, quality and experience, alongside the iconic Nokia mobile phone attributes of design, robustness, and reliability.
Under the agreement, Nokia will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of every Nokia branded mobile phone and tablet, covering both brand and intellectual property rights. Nokia is not an investor or shareholder in HMD.
HMD said it will invest over $500 million over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, funded through its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.
The company combines the agility and attitude of a start-up business with the expertise of some of the industry’s most experienced and passionate senior leaders. The HMD Global team is headed by CEO Arto Nummela and President Florian Seiche.
“Driven by the extremely positive reception we have received since HMD was announced earlier this year, we are excited about building the next chapter for Nokia phones.” Mr. Nummela, said, “We see this as a brilliant opportunity to solve real life consumer problems and to deliver on the quality and designs that the Nokia brand has always been known for.”
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown around the world for the return of the Nokia brand to smartphones,” Mr. Brad Rodrigues, Interim President of Nokia Technologies, said. “The HMD Global team has the ambition, talent and resources to bring a new generation of Nokia branded phones to market, and we wish them every success. I’m sure our millions of Nokia fans will be excited to see their new products.”