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Nokia dies a second death as HMD steps in with its own brand

Nokia, a brand known for its robust and dependable phones, has undergone several transformations in the dynamic mobile phone industry. Renowned for their durability, Nokia phones achieved iconic status and experienced a resurgence through internet meme culture. The brand’s journey involved a stint with Microsoft in 2014, later transitioning to Human Mobile Devices (HMD Global) in 2016.

In a recent announcement, HMD Global, the current licensee of the Nokia name, hinted at a new phase. In a concise statement, HMD emphasized its role as the maker of Nokia phones and teased the possibility of more offerings. The announcement vaguely mentioned “original HMD devices” and collaborations with new partners. While it assured continued support for existing Nokia phones, tablets, and accessories, it left the future of Nokia phones uncertain.

Reading between the lines, this announcement raises questions about the fate of Nokia phones. In September 2023, HMD Global unveiled a distinct identity separate from Nokia, signaling its intention to launch an independent line of smartphones. The licensing agreement between HMD and Nokia is set to conclude in 2026, less than two years away. Leaks suggest that HMD is gearing up to introduce new smartphones under its branding, possibly including a U.S. release.

While the signs point to the decline of the Nokia brand, nostalgia and admiration for its historical impact linger. Lars Silberbauer, CMO of Nokia Phones and HMD, acknowledged the potential end of the Nokia era in a LinkedIn post.

The mobile phone landscape has seen other brands face challenges in revival attempts, with BlackBerry being a notable example. Nokia’s journey, from the robust Nokias of the past to the potential rebranding efforts by HMD, reflects the dynamic nature of the tech industry.

The question remains: Could the promised “licensing partnerships” mentioned by HMD include a revival of the Nokia brand? Only time will tell if Nokia’s legacy will see another chapter in the ever-evolving world of smartphones.

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