Nokia restores ‘Phones’

That didn’t take long

They’re back. Sort of.

“Phones” have returned to Nokia’s website after a two-year hiatus. Microsoft completed the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile division in April 2014, after many delays. Nokia’s Phone pages continued as a stub, largely redirecting traffic to Microsoft’s site for some time.

Microsoft found itself with a business it decided it didn’t want - particularly the budget featurephone models that it continued to sell under the Nokia brand (until it shed them).

A new entity – HMD Global – acquired the brand to use on smartphones earlier this year, with the first devices expected to debut at Mobile World Congress early next year. HMD plans to ride the wave of low-cost Android popularity by providing local support for the largely generic devices pouring off Cantonese production lines.

WileyFox entered the market last year with the same idea, and has ramped up its efforts this year impressively. CCS Insight’s Ben Wood has heard worse ideas - and thinks “Nokia” could be shipping 80 million units annually by 2019. He bases that on Nokia's enduring brand value, and the possibility it can ramp to significant volumes.

But that would require all the lights to be green, as the saying goes.

Ironically, Nokia was well into budget Android by the time Microsoft acquired it, with Redmond obliged to release the X2, a low power (Snapdragon 200) Google-free phone aimed at the sub-$100 market. The X2 crept into some markets (ours is a Pakistani variant) in June 2014.

Predictably, that initiative didn’t last long, and was canned along with everything else that whiffed of Nokia. ®

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