Nokia displayed an official slide during it's Capital Markets Day presentation which displayed it's strategic roadmap in the coming years. While 2016 was all about the very expensive Ozo VR camera, the acquisition of Withings and a license agreement with Samsung, 2017 will be about expanded leadership in the VR market, transition to digital health brand and the company's return to smartphones along with patent licensing expansion in various fields including mobile. However, the 2018 projection doesn't include anything new about smartphones which may indicate that Nokia may take a call on this following buyers' response to it's upcoming smartphones in 2017.
HMD Global, a new company consisting of former Nokia employees, now has the license to develop all future Nokia phones. The company today licenced the brand name from Microsoft and has said that it will be developing Nokia phones in partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn, the first of which will be released early next year.
HMD Global is intent on taking advantage of the 'nostalgia' factor that people still harbour about feature phones launched by Nokia over a decade ago. Nokia used to be a global leader in feature phone manufacturing and even though the world has changed quite a lot in the decade that passed, the Nokia name may still hold some relevance in today's smartphone market. Not to forget, Microsoft launched a number of smartphones post acquisition of Nokia, most of which failed to capture the nostalgia but since the HMD Global is now full of ex-Nokia employees, people may expect them to bring in something similar to what they once loved about the brand.
Even though HMD Global will be armed with the Nokia brand name, they will need to bring in phones powerful enough to take on the likes of Apple, Samsung and Huawei in global markets. The new phones will need to be capable of supporting VR and AR concepts, feature the best of processing power, battery life and memory and offer seamless performance no matter how hard they are pushed by demanding users. And of course, their pricing will need too be spot on as well.
Nokia phones to have light-sensitive graphene sensors
A senior Nokia executive in China had earlier confirmed that Nokia will launch several Android devices later this year and both smartphones and tablets will be part of the launch spree. The confirmation arrived following a spate of image and spec leaks in the past few months, but Nokia fans won't be able to see these devices at IFA taking place next month.
From what we know so far, Nokia will launch two phones together whenever the company decides to launch them. According to Phone Radar, Nokia's two new phones will run the recently launched Android 7.0 Nougat OS 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.
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.
Nokia set for comeback with premium smartphones later this year
GizmoChina has added to the buzz by revealing that the new Nokia phones, which will be the company's first devices after the end of a contractual embargo imposed by Microsoft, will also feature camera sensors "manufactured using Graphene material." A couple of years ago, researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore claimed that camera sensors made of Graphene were 1,000 times more sensitive to light compared to the usual CMOS camera sensors in our phones, apart from being five times cheaper. It is thus possible that Nokia wants to bring in camera sensors which will be able to capture brilliant images in both direct sunlight as well as low light conditions, possibly better than the ones we are used to.
It is possible that Nokia may either launch the new devices at an exclusive event later this year or may hold back until Mobile World Congress begins in February of next year. The likes of Samsung, LG, HTC and Huawei are expected to launch their own flagship devices at MWC next year so we wonder it it'll be a good idea for Nokia to take them on after spending such a long time away from being directly involved in the industry.