In 2013, Nokia and Microsoft announced that Microsoft was acquiring Nokia’s historic Devices and Services business to further develop Windows Phone smartphones and Nokia feature phones, while Nokia shifted its focus on Networks. Around four years ago – on 18th May 2016 to be exact, Nokia announced that the brand is returning to the smartphone market.
On that day, Nokia issued a press release announcing that the Finns signed a strategic patent licensing and brand deal with, then unknown startup, HMD Global for the period of ten years. The license includes IP and right to use the Nokia brand on smartphones and tablets. In a separate press release, HMD Global confirmed Nokia’s announcement also pointing out a 500 million dollars marketing budget and acquisition of Nokia feature phone rights and assets from Microsoft, in partnership with Foxconn.
The last 4 years were quite interesting for HMD and the Nokia brand. While most of us probably imagined a better performing HMD Global, keep in mind that they are attempting something you don’t see in the business that often – returning a past brand that failed to the super-competitive smartphone market.