Finnish company HMD Global unveiled a range of new phones, including a redesign of the classic Nokia 3310, in a bid to win back mobile consumers.
Two new smartphones, the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5, are set to come to market in the second quarter, HMD executives said Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The phones will run Google’s Android operating system and Google Assistant, and will retail for €139 (R1 900 before duties and other taxes) and €189 (R2 600) respectively. HMD also showcased the re-release of the Nokia 3310, a lower-cost feature phone first sold just under 17 years ago.
The release is the first major push by HMD to revive Nokia’s glory days as a global mobile producer. After the collapse in its fortunes, Nokia sold the business to Microsoft in 2014, and staffing in mobile-phone operations in Finland fell to under a thousand people, from more than 24 000.
HMD — run by CEO Arto Nummela, a former Nokia executive — has previously said it will invest more than US$500m in the next three years to market the phones and tablets.
While HMD controls the sales, marketing and distribution of the Nokia brand for smartphones, the manufacturing operations were sold by Microsoft to a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology. The Nokia 6 has already been released in China in January, and is set to be introduced globally.
First launched in 2000, the Nokia 3310 featured a small monochrome display and became known for its durability. It went on to sell millions of handsets. The revamped, slimmer version now has a touch screen, but many of the phone’s basic features remain. It’ll sell for about €49 (R700).
Nokia, which now focuses on mobile networks, gets royalty payments from HMD, but doesn’t have an ownership stake. Withings, the consumer business making fitness bands and connected scales that Nokia acquired last year, will take the Nokia name, the company said. — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP