In a deal struck earlier this week, Microsoft will agree to sell off part of the company it acquired in 2014. The $350 million deal is with HMD Global and FIH Mobile who are owned by Foxconn, and if that name rings a bell, it’s because it came to prominence due to its deals with Apple to assemble the iPhone.
FIH will pay $330 million to Microsoft for a manufacturing facility and the current sales and distribution infrastructure. HMD Global will pay $20 million for Microsoft’s feature phone brand and designs. The deal will see about 4,500 employees leave Microsoft.
FIH Mobile will team up with the Finish company, HMD Global to revive the once proud Nokia name.
We haven’t seen Nokia since Microsoft killed off the brand after the acquisition in favor of the Lumia moniker. HMD will make Nokia branded devices under the leadership of Arto Nummela, the current Microsoft head of feature phone in developing markets like Asia and Africa. Nummela worked for Nokia before the buyout so he knows the business well.
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name. Instead of Nokia returning to manufacturing mobile phones itself, HMD plans to produce mobile phones and tablets that can leverage and grow the value of the Nokia brand in global markets. Working with HMD and FIH will let us participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world while staying true to our licensing business model.”
Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies
Under the deal, HMD has a 10-year exclusive window to produce Nokia phones. This deal is newsworthy due to the Nokia name and Nummela knows that. In fact, he’s betting on it. In a statement, he states “Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, which is why our business model is centered on the unique asset of the Nokia brand, and our extensive experience in sales and marketing.”
Nummela also states that the new Nokia will bring a full range of Android phones and tablets. “We will be completely focused on creating a unified range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, which we know will resonate with consumers.” While we will almost definitely see lower end phones come to emerging markets like Africa and South-East Asia, we will hopefully, finally get the Nokia Android flagship that so many of us have been hoping for.