Many of you, who know me well, are aware of my passion for tech. There’s one industry, which, has had a vice like grip around me since I was 15. It’s something that has become pivotal to anyone’s daily life. Astounding me as the industry has grown from strength to strength. Bringing with it more and more technology firsts. I am talking about the humble mobile phone. An industry that has been intriguing, annoying at times but mostly fascinating to be a part of.
With that in mind. I am pleased to have seen the development from analogue to digital. A new craze called text messaging take the world by storm. Mobile phones with changeable fronts become the next big fashion craze. The launch of WAP (remember that!) and 3G. Leading us all to where we are today, high speed 4G, smart phones becoming the norm and around the corner we have 5G to look forward too. Pushing the data speeds even further.
I’ve seen the demise of a network and manufacturers. Yet one I personally hated watching fall from grace. A manufacturer which became the undisputable top dog and held onto the first place for over a decade! Nokia. A company that gave us the first camera phone, snake and the first sign of where smartphones were heading with a brilliant OS called Symbian.
Nokia used to hold an academy twice a year, an event that I really looked forward to. It was to go through their new handsets, their product features and to show us partners where they saw the market going. One meeting showed us where they saw the future heading and smartphones was a big part of their presentation. At this point, no one had heard of the iPhone, there were no app stores and Nokia was leading the way.
I can remember vividly they opened the meeting with a short commercial. One they had put together especially for the partners. To get us on board and think about the future. During the commercial we saw a family of four using their mobiles for pretty much everything. Reading the news, listening to the radio even playing games. They even watched telly on their devices whilst eating breakfast together. These events were being controlled and displayed by their Nokia devices and Nokia were determined that this was the future. The future was convergence!
I instantly saw that this could be the future, and saw Nokia as being a massive player to help bring this vision to reality. To be fair they did spearhead a lot of these innovations with the help of the N95 and Symbian. For the first time, you had a device you could use BBC iPlayer on. In fact, the N95 to this day must be my all-time favourite phone that I have owned.
Then came the iPhone and their famous app store, this was joined by Google and their OS Android. Things started to change. I remember saying to a friend that Nokia needed to get on board with Android. To me this was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, Nokia decided to go with Microsoft and the Lumia range was launched. We all know what happened then. Windows just couldn’t compete with Apple and Android. A shame as they did have some good features but the all-important app store quite got the traction it needed to compete.
We all know the story from there. Microsoft bought Nokia’s mobile phone division. Then started to phase out the Nokia name. Such a sad day for this industry I love. However now from the ashes, Nokia could be rising from the flames ready to take on Apple, Samsung, Sony and all the others once more.
The brand is coming back thanks to a deal with newly formed Finnish conglomerate HMD Global and iPhone manufacturer Foxconn! These two have joined forces to bring back the brand of Nokia in a massive licensing deal. I’m excited!
Why would I be so excited though? After all its not the real Nokia coming back. It’s just a licensing deal for the brand. Yet when you look closer the old Nokia is there in the back-ground looming ready to pounce. For there will be a member of Nokia on the board helping with all the major decision’s regarding design and features. Also, HMD Global has quite a few members of the old Nokia team within the company helping to bring the project to fruition.
This is what makes me excited that and, they have announced they will be using Android as their preferred OS. It looks like finally my, dreams of a Nokia handset powered by Android could come true!
We know that they are launching a mid-range handset in China called the Nokia 6. It packs a punch for the price and last week they held the first flash sale for the device. A sale that was sold out within a minute of going live! Yes, that’s right they sold out within a minute. Now I have seen a few reports, indicating that they only sold 10,000 units in that minute. For me though 10,000 units in a minute in one single minute in just one country is nothing short of astounding.
Proving that the Nokia brand is still sought after and a force to be reckoned with! The next test will be their flagship handset. This should be announced soon, potentially at MWC 2017 at the end of February.
One thing is for sure though, the Nokia name is still relevant and a lot of people still love the brand. With this latest deal, Nokia are going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2017. Welcome back Nokia.