HMD Global could be ditching the Nokia branding on its upcoming devices, in favor of switching to the lesser-known HMD brand.
On its website, HMD has released a new brand video (below) to reintroduce the company, but the video doesn’t mention Nokia, even when referring to “nostalgic dumbphones,” which is likely in reference to the company's line of classic Nokia-inspired devices.
The company's website has also received a new look and features less Nokia branding, except for a message at the top of the page that reads, “We're makers of Nokia phones. You're in the right place,” showing HMD's understanding for consumer's possible of lack of brand awareness and its ownership of the Nokia brand; where mobile phones are concerned, at least.
Although this rebranding could be misconstrued as the swan song for the Nokia name in the phone market, HMD denies such rumors, confirming in a seperate blog post that it will continue to make phones that use the Nokia name.
“You've probably noticed a few changes around here. We’re still makers of Nokia smartphones and Nokia "dumbphones," but we’re getting warmed up to bring you even more, including original HMD devices, and phones from all-new partnerships.” No new devices or partnerships were announced in the post and all the devices listed on the HMD site are still currently all Nokia-branded.
HMD also confirmed that Nokia devices will still receive support through warranty periods, as well as security and software updates.
The history of Nokia
Nokia was once a giant in the phone industry, back in 1999, Nokia’s revenue reached 31 billion Euros due to the popularity of handsets like the Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8210. However, by the 2010s Nokia was losing significant market share to Apple and Samsung, and the burgeoning smartphone market. The company was bought by Microsoft in 2013 but was later sold off to Finnish company HMD, in 2016 with all subsequent devices being released by HMD.
Most recently, Nokia has been in the news over a legal dispute with OnePlus' sister brand Oppo, due to patent licensing of Nokia’s 5G technology, which temporarily led to a ban on Oppo selling its devices in Europe, which has since lifted.
The Nokia brand holds nostalgia to many older-generation consumers, due to Nokia’s popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s. Its devices were often many people's first introduction to mobile phones, so for HMD to further bury the Nokia name in today's mobile market could hurt brand recognition going forward.
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James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.
James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.
When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.
He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.