The mobile company that will use the Nokia brand name on upcoming hardware, known as the HMD Group product release plans for the next months. Rumors spread during the summer it would have two smartphones to reveal before the end of 2016, but now another two have been added to the list, according to an executive working for Nokia in China.
Local news source The Paper quotes Mike Wang, general manager at Nokia Siemens Networks, as saying the Nokia brand name will return to smartphones and tablets before the end of the year. This is in line with previous reports, but while other rumors said we may only have two devices from the new company, Wang apparently indicates there could be three or four in total.
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However, Wang isn’t confident the launch will happen this year, and warns if development and testing takes longer than expected, it may be pushed to 2017. It’s also mentioned that the four devices will be a mixture of phones and tablets. During its time tied down to Microsoft, Nokia’s only outside mobile project was on the design of the Nokia N1 tablet, which ran Android complete with Nokia’s own Z Launcher user interface over the top when it launched in early 2015.
Even with up to four new devices coming, Nokia’s name has been out of the spotlight for many years. HMD Group understands the pull Nokia’s name once had, and also that it’ll need to get the name back into the mobile-buying public’s thoughts ahead of these major launches. It has recruited Pekka Rantala to help do this. While the name may not be familiar, the company he previously led will be: Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds. Rantala spent 17 years with Nokia before heading off to Rovio, and will join HMD Group as chief marketing officer, where the company has pledged to spend $500 million to promote the Nokia name around the world.