Nokia revives the brand with launch of iPad lookalike

admin   •   November 19, 2014   •   2707

Sebastian Nystrom, head of product business at Nokia Technologies, presents N1, Nokia’s new Android tablet, at the Slush 2014 event in Helsinki November 18, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA/LEHTIKUVA

(Reuters) – Finland’s Nokia (NOK1V.HE) launched a new brand-licensed tablet computer on Tuesday which is designed to rival Apple’s (AAPL.O) iPad Mini, just six months after the company sold its ailing phones and devices business to Microsoft (MSFT.O) for over $7 billion.

Nokia, a name which was once synonymous with mobile phones until first Apple and then Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) eclipsed the Finnish company with the advent of smart phones, said the manufacturing, distribution and sales of the new N1 tablet, will be handled under license by Taiwan’s Foxconn (2354.TW).

The aluminum-cased N1, which runs on Google’s (GOOGL.O) Android Lollipop operating software but features Nokia’s new Z Launcher intelligent home screen interface, is due to be in stores in China in the first quarter of next year for an estimated price of $249 before taxes, with sales to other markets to follow.

Sebastian Nystrom, the head of products at Nokia’s Technologies unit, said the company was looking to follow up with more devices and will also look into eventually returning to the smartphones business by brand-licensing.

“With the agreement with Microsoft, as is customary, we have this transition and we can’t do smartphones … We have a time limit. In 2016 we can again enter that business,” Nystrom told Reuters.

“It would be crazy not to look at that opportunity. Of course we will look at it.”

Microsoft last week dropped the Nokia name on its latest Lumia 535 smartphone, which runs on its Windows Phone 8 operating system, but still uses the brand for more basic phones.

After the Microsoft sale Nokia was left with its core network equipment and services business plus its smaller HERE mapping and navigation unit and Nokia Technologies, which manages the licensing of its portfolio of patents and develops new products such as the N1 and the Z Launcher.

Asked about rumors that Nokia was looking to re-enter the handset market, Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said last week he was looking into ways to bring the brand back into the consumer market through licensing deals.

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Nokia workers protest against planned job cuts in Paris

UNTV News   •   July 9, 2020

Several hundred Nokia workers protested in Paris on Wednesday (July 8) against plans to cut over 1,200 jobs in its French subsidiary Alcatel-Lucent International.

Nokia has said most of the layoffs would come from research and development (R&D) teams. Unions say this is incomprehensible when Europe is preparing to deploy the next generation mobile network.

Member of the French parliament from the ruling party LaRem, Eric Bothorel, who was elected in the northwestern region of Côtes-d’Armor, where there are planned job cuts, said Nokia’s announcement came just after the date set releasing the company from commitments to preserve jobs.

Nokia was bound to job retention commitments when it acquired Alcatel Lucent in 2015. They expired in June.

Bothorel said the move was “making fun of the government” as it targeted people who were recently hired.

Nokia says it will continue to be a major employer in France with a strong foothold in R&D. (Reuters)

(Production: Emilie Delwarde, Thierry Chiarello, Yiming Woo, Ardee Napolitano)

HMD Global launches first Nokia smartphone

admin   •   January 9, 2017

A new Nokia 6 smartphone is seen in this handout image released by HMD to Reuters on January 7, 2017. HMD/Handout via Reuters

HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the rights to use Nokia’s brand on mobile phones, announced on Sunday its first smartphone, targeted for Chinese users with a price of 1,699 yuan ($246).

The launch marks the first new smartphone carrying the iconic handset name since 2014 when Nokia Oyj (NOKIA.HE) chose to sell its entire handset unit to Microsoft (MSFT.O).

The new device, Nokia 6, runs on Google’s (GOOGL.O) Android platform and is manufactured by Foxconn (2354.TW). It will be sold exclusively in China through online retailer JD.com (JD.O), HMD said.

“The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone into China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world… it is a strategically important market,” HMD said in a statement.

Nokia was once the world’s dominant cellphone maker but missed the shift to smartphones, and then chose Microsoft’s Windows operating system for its “Lumia” range.

After the 2014 deal, Microsoft continued selling cheaper basic phones under Nokia’s name and Lumia smartphones under its own name, but last year, it largely abandoned both businesses.

HMD in December took over the Nokia feature phones business and struck a licensing deal that gave it sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets for the next decade.

It will pay Nokia royalties for the brand and patents, but Nokia has no direct investment in HMD. Nokia Oyj is currently focused on telecom network equipment business and technology patents.

HMD CEO Arto Nummela, who was once responsible for Nokia’s sales and product development, told Reuters last month that HMD aims to be one of the key competitive players in the smartphone business where it faces tough competition from Apple (AAPL.O), Samsung (005930.KS) and dozens of other players.

HMD launched some new Nokia basic phones last month. It said on Sunday it was looking to launch more new products in the first half of the year.

(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Eric Auchard)

Samsung Electronics to reveal Galaxy Note 7 probe results ‘very soon’

admin   •   January 6, 2017

File photo.

File photo.

Samsung Electronics America’s President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Baxter said on Wednesday the South Korean company was doing everything to make sure the problems with the Galaxy Note 7 do not reoccur and said the results of a probe into the smartphone fires will be made public ‘very soon.’

“As you know, this year was a challenging year for Samsung. Some of you were directly impacted and certainly many saw the media coverage, especially about the Note 7. We continue our intensive efforts, internally and with third party experts to understand what happened and to make sure it does not happen again. And very soon we will be sharing the root cause report on the Note 7,” Baxter said.

It was reported on Monday that Samsung would announce, this month, the results of an investigation into what caused some of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire.

The South Korean firm said in October it was examining all aspects of the phone, suggesting there may be a combination of factors that contributed to one of the costliest product safety failures in tech history.

The world’s top smartphone maker warned of a $5.1 billion hit to its operating profit over three quarters following its decision to permanently halt Galaxy Note 7 sales in October.

Investors and analysts have said it is critical for Samsung to identify the root cause of the fires in order to rebuild consumer trust and avoid repeating the same mistakes. — Ninya Armillo | UNTV News & Rescue

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