Nokia's exit from the smartphone world following the sale of the Lumia brand to Microsoft hasn't been as dated as it seems, given that both Nokia as well as traditional Nokia fans have been waiting for the contractual embargo to lift with bated breaths. As per an agreement with Microsoft, Nokia will not be able to manufacture and sell any mobile phones until Q4 of 2016, and as per reports, Nokia plans to launch two new phones as soon as the agreement term ends.
Nokia C1: Specs, rumours, release date and pricing
As of now, Nokia's strategy rests on designing hardware and then selling the license out instead of manufacturing the phones themselves. Having been effectively implemented for the N1 tablet, the strategy will continue to be implemented for mobile phones and tablets until the agreement with Microsoft runs out.
According to Phone Radar, Nokia's two new phones will run the recently launched Android Nougat with Nokia's own Z launcher interface. Featuring 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch Quad HD displays, they will arrive with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoCs, Adreno 530 GPUs and IP68 dustproof and waterproof ratings. The report adds that the devices will be manufactured by contract-manufacturer Foxconn and distributed by HMD Global once launched.
Nokia C1 leaked in November of last year
The fact that Nokia may launch new smartphones later this year was given a hint of credibility earlier when CEO Rajeev Suri spoke to that effect at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "We almost owe it to ourselves to go experiment in the consumer area. If and when we find a world-class partner who can take on those responsibilities, we would work closely with them to guide the design and technology differentiation as we did with the Nokia N1 Android tablet. There's no rush, there's no timeline. It could happen in 2016, it could happen later. We don't want to just put logos on somebody's devices. It needs to feel like Nokia, what Nokia was known for," he said.
Nokia keeping fingers crossed for ticket to smartphone party
Until today, we believed that Nokia was working on a mid-range device with a 5-inch display. A number of tech sites, including GSM Arena, revealed images and specifications of a Nokia C1 phone which was slated to launched later this year. Various leaks pointed towards the C1 featuring a 5-inch Full HD display, 8MP and 5MP cameras, an Intel processor, a 2GB RAM and separate Android and Windows 10 variants. Nokia C1 was also rumoured to release in White, Gold, Pink and Grey colours by Q4 of 2016 when the ongoing embargo on smartphone manufacturing ends.
If the rumours claimed by Phone Radar turn out to be true, then it implies that rather than launching a mid-range device, Nokia will go all-out to challenge premium smartphones and phablets with impressive design, specifications and features. Their success will also depend on how Nokia will price the phones in different regions, especially in the UK where OnePlus was recently forced to hike prices of the OnePlus 3 following Brexit.