Who is HMD Global and why care about them?

Nokia was once upon a time the king of mobile phones. However, the company has seen its fair share of struggles over the years. A partnership with Microsoft for making Windows Mobile-powered smartphones mainstream eventually failed and 2016 saw the demise of the Nokia brand we all knew and loved.

But in recent years, the company has had a chance to regroup. Not so long ago, Nokia announced that its brand was making a return to the mobile market, after a time where it focused on network equipment. To do so, the Finnish phone maker came up with an interesting scheme involving a newly founded start-up called HMD Global.

If you follow tech, you’ve probably heard that HMD is the company launching all the new Nokia phones that are making their ways on the market these days. But who is HMD Global? Continue reading below to find out more.

A startup to continue Nokia’s legacy

HMD Global was set up in Espoo, Finland – which is Nokia’s hometown – in 2016 with the goal to bring back to life Europe’s most well-known phone brand.

And to do so HMD has managed to bring together under the same umbrella a lot of Nokia’s former staff. The current hierarchy includes CEO Florian Seiche who was responsible for Sales and Marketing in Europe Region at Nokia and Microsoft. He also worked for Siemens and Orange, as well as being the co-founder of HTC’s smartphone business. Continuing his activity with HMD is also Nokia and Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer (or CPO) Juho Sarvikas.

The start-up is owned by a private fund called Smart Connect LP, registered in Luxemburg, under the leadership of ex-Nokia executive Jean-Francoise Baril.

With such a powerful executive lineup in place, for the last two years, HMD has been focusing exclusively on the resurgence of the once Finnish great brand. And sales seem to be going in the right direction, so HMD is launching new phones left and right. This summer, the company has unveiled the Nokia X5 in China, a handset featuring a notch, a dual-camera setup and Android Oreo.

Back in May, the company also updated its mid-range and budget portfolio by launching the Nokia 5.1, Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 2.1 globally.

HMD Global is in charge of designing, selling and promoting all Nokia-branded devices. However, it’s partner FIH Mobile (a part of Foxconn) that’s actually in charge of manufacturing and R&D for HMD.

Since it’s comeback, Nokia has managed to carve a sweet spot in the middle-range niche. Sure, the company has also launched flagship devices like the Nokia 8 Sirroco, although the product kind of flew under the radar.

The Nokia phones of today build on the previous excellence

HMD also reintroduced a number of old-fashioned Nokia design. For starters, it re-launched the iconic 3310 model, complete with the popular Snake game. A year later, HMD revived the Nokia 8110, the so-called banana phone.

As HMD Global’s chief executive, mister Seiche said in an interview:

It is our ambition to deliver great smartphones that delight our fans while staying true to our Finnish roots and the hallmarks that the Nokia brand has always been known for

Moreover, Nokia’s smartphones offer a clean version of Android and the company has repeatedly pledged constant and fast updates. After Google introduced Android 9.0 Pie in August, HMD was among the first companies to confirm that all of its phones (even the low-end ones) will be getting the update.

But despite the business having got off to a fantastic start, it has not been entirely smooth sailing for the newly established company. Last year, Arto Nummela, the original chief executive and a Nokia veteran left HMD under curious circumstances.

Following his departure, HMD released a statement saying that the company continues to have a fantastic leadership team with decades of experience who will help to lead their business.

Currently, Nokia appears to be gearing up to launch another flagship-like device. Dubbed the Nokia 9 by the rumor mill, the phone is expected to arrive with a notch-less display and a Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood. According to leaks, the phone could come featuring a total of five Zeiss lenses on the back. Which is pretty crazy! The phone might launch in October or November.