In recent years, Nokia has slowly moved out of the limelight and become a shadow of its once successful self. This is mainly due to the fact that the operating system they based their devices on, Windows, was losing popularity as Android and iOS dominated the smartphone and tablet market, which resulted in Microsoft acquiring the brand, further worsening the situation.
Needless to say, the Finnish company is still internationally recognized and admired for their past creations. Devices like the Nokia 3310 have obtained an iconic status in the technology world for their usability and robustness. In the time before Apple and Samsung smartphones, there was the Nokia cellphone. It was by far one of the most popular brands, but as smartphones became more mainstream, they slowly lost any drive to innovate and as a result, they were left behind. This is understandable as a company that doesn’t embrace change and constantly learn new things is bound to fail. Nokia did exactly that. When Microsoft acquired the brand, Nokia was left in the dark with nowhere to go. Recent reports claim that this will change.
A few presentation slides were found that confirm Nokia’s planned comeback into the smartphone industry. According to reports, Nokia will be releasing their new line of smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in 2017. The company that now owns the licenses to the Finnish company’s devices for the next decade, HMD Global, has confirmed its presence at the special event, which will begin on 27 February in Barcelona. Given that the company is focusing on the development of Nokia’s smartphones, it is expected that they will be unveiled at the event. While it isn’t known exactly what will be released, one long-rumored smartphone is expected to appear, the Nokia D1C.
The D1C is expected to be a mid-ranger that ships with Android 7.0 Noughat built-in, currently the latest version available. Rumored specifications include a Snapdragon 430 processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. While 3GB of RAM may seem to be on the higher end of the spectrum right now, the Snapdragon processor suggests that it will not be a flagship. It is also an understandable amount as Android is RAM intensive and 3GB of RAM will most likely become a staple of mid-range Android smartphones in 2017. Other rumored specifications include a large 5.5 inch 1080p display and an impressive 16-megapixel rear shooter.
Last month it was reported that the current CEO of Nokia, Rajeev Suri, will deliver a keynote speech at the afore-mentioned event. It is also worth noting that if HMD Global is attending, there is a higher chance that the Nokia smartphones will be running Android. It will be highly beneficial to Nokia if they make their new smartphones ship with Android, as Windows Phone is slowly losing the little popularity it once had. Android and iOS are leaps and bounds ahead and Microsoft simply cannot keep up in a market dominated by Cupertino and its Eastern rivals. Perhaps Nokia’s departure from Windows was one of the more strategic moves they have made in recent times. If they release a product that gets the consumer’s attention, Nokia may rise again as a noteworthy competitor in a market oversaturated by Android-running smartphones from the East.
Nokia plans to make some interesting moves within the next 2 years, including some exciting product releases. 2017 will see Nokia expanding leadership in VR, a transition into Digital Health, as well as patent licensing expansions in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics, and of course Nokia’s return to smartphones. In 2018, they plan to obtain VR technology licensing, “continue incubation in new and adjacent areas” and continue patenting licensing growth and diversification. Nokia seems to be moving toward Digital Health in serious manner in the next few years, as they also plan to grow in remote patient care in 2018. This is a positive step forward as it will not only render further success, but also increase the brand appeal.
Nokia is also rumored to release a flagship smartphone called the P1. Leaks have indicated that it will come in two variants, with 5.2 and 5.5 inch displays, both being 2K AMOLED panels. They are also rumored to ship with more flagship-worthy specifications, such as a Snapdragon 820/821 chip, 4GB of RAM and additional features, such as IP68 waterproofing.
If Nokia plays their cards right over the next few years, they might see themselves on the podium once again. With Microsoft out of the way, the Google-fuelled future of their smartphones might prove to be significantly beneficial to the Finnish company.