Tuesday 27 June 2017

Nokia smartphone launches in China

The new Nokia 6 smartphone. REUTERS
The new Nokia 6 smartphone. REUTERS

Jussi Rosendahl

The first Nokia-branded Android smartphone, announced yesterday, will be available only in China.

HMD Global, the Finnish company which owns the rights to use Nokia's brand on mobile phones, announced its first smartphone, targeted for Chinese users with a price of 1,699 yuan (€233).

The launch marks the first new smartphone carrying the iconic handset name since 2014 when Nokia chose to sell its entire handset unit to Microsoft.

The new device, Nokia 6, runs on Google's Android platform and is manufactured by Foxconn. It will be sold exclusively in China through online retailer JD.com, HMD said.

"The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone into China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real-world needs of consumers in different markets around the world . . . it is a strategically important market," HMD said in a statement.

Nokia was once the world's dominant mobile maker but missed the shift to smartphones, and then chose Microsoft's Windows operating system for its Lumia range.

After the 2014 deal, Microsoft continued selling cheaper basic phones under Nokia's name and Lumia smartphones under its own name, but last year, it largely abandoned both businesses.

In December, HMD took over the Nokia feature phones business and struck a licensing deal which gave it sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets for the next decade.

It will pay Nokia royalties for the brand and patents, but Nokia has no direct investment in HMD.

Nokia Oyj is currently focused on telecom network equipment business and technology patents. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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