Nokia has said it has signed an exclusive 10-year licensing agreement for newly formed Finnish company HMD to create Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets. The devices are to be made by Foxconn.
Once the world's biggest producer of mobile phones, Nokia had been eclipsed By Apple and Samsung which eventually forced it to sell its entire handset business to Microsoft in 2014 and focus entirely on telecoms network equipment.
But in a clever move, it held on to its phone patents with a view to eventually striking a licensing deal and profiting from its brand name.
Nokia said Wednesday it had inked a 10-year licensing agreement for newly formed Finnish company HMD global OY to come up with Nokia-branded mobile devices. The firm is owned by Smart Connect LP, a private equity fund run by a former Nokia executive.
Tight-lipped about targets
The new devices will be made by Taiwan's Foxconn, with Nokia receiving royalties on sale, covering both brand and intellectual property rights.
Nokia said its brand had remained widely recognized, especially in emerging markets.
"The areas we believe the brand is strongest are Asia, South America and parts of Europe," said Nokia Technologies CEO Ramzi Haidamus. "Clearly, China will be one of the target markets."
Nokia declined to provide revenue targets related to the licensing deal, and no details were given as to when the new Android devices would hit the market. The transaction between Microsoft, Foxconn and HMD is scheduled to close in the second half of 2016.
hg/jd (dpa, Reuters)