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Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets are coming - and they will be running Android

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Alfred Borrow
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Back in 2011, unable to cope with competition from Android and iOS, Nokia famously switched to Windows Phone as the operating system for its smartphones.

Now Nokia Technologies has granted HMD global Oy -- a new company based in Finland -- exclusive rights to make Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years.

HMD plans to spend $500m over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, funded via its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.

After the deal with Microsoft is completed, Arto Nummela will become HMD's CEO: he has previously held senior positions at Nokia and is currently the head of Microsoft's mobile devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa, as well as heading up Microsoft's global Feature Phones business.

Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, which is why our business model is centered on the unique asset of the Nokia brand and our extensive experience in sales and marketing."

HMD is owned by Smart Connect LP, a private equity fund managed by Jean-Francois Baril, a former Nokia executive, as well as by HMD management.

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Alfred Borrow
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