The Nokia 6 will be the brand’s first smartphone since 2014
The first Nokia smartphone launched since 2014 is going on sale in China for £200.
The Nokia 6 runs on Android Nougat and is manufactured by Foxconn under an agreement with HMD Global, the Finnish company that purchased the right to the Nokia brand in 2016.
The phone has a 5.5-inch screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 16MP rear-facing camera. It will only be available in China through JD.com and costs 1699 CNY (£201).
HMD hinted that its smartphone business would eventually make it out of China and said it would be announcing further products in the first half of 2017. Nokia was once the world’s best-known mobile phone company but its fortunes have slid since the debut of the iPhone in 2007. Attempting to play catch-up, the company then opted for Microsoft’s ill-fated Windows Mobile operating system for its Lumia smartphones.
In 2014 the Finnish firm’s devices division was acquired by Microsoft for $7.17 billion. Microsoft had intended to use the Nokia brand and technology on both smart and basic phones but struggled to make the deal work. By July 2015, the firm announced plans to axe 7,800 jobs and write-off $7.6bn to focus on “a more effective and focused phone portfolio”.
That decision eventually led to HMD being granted a ten-year license to sell Nokia-branded phones and tablets. At the time the company said it would invest $500 million (£346m) over the next three years to relaunch Nokia’s ailing business.
The firm is headed by former Nokia and Microsoft mobile devices head Arto Nummela, with other senior Microsoft and Nokia employees also involved. Nokia will receive monthly payments from HMD as part of the deal to cover the use of its brand and patents.
A separate deal between HMD and Microsoft gave the former rights to use the Nokia brand on lower-end feature phones such as the Nokia 150.
Microsoft’s agreement with HMD was part of a wider sell-off of its entire feature phone business, with some assets also transferred to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of manufacturing giant Foxconn. The deal between Microsoft, HMD and FIH was valued at $350m.