Still partying like it’s 1999 with a Nokia phone? It might just end up being your last. Or it might not — it’s all a bit confusing at the moment.
HMD Global — the custodian of the Nokia mobile brand name — now redirects the Nokia shop site to HMD Global, and its social media accounts have followed suit. It then published a blog post that calls 2024 “the year of Human Mobile Devices” (catchy!) promising “original HMD devices and phones from all-new partnerships”.
That all sounds like the Nokia name is being abandoned, two years before its ten-year licencing agreement comes to an end. But then, the post offers a few limited kind words about the Nokia brand.
Under a heading titled “Love Nokia phones? Same here”, the post tells visitors they can still shop for Nokia phones, tablets and accessories. It adds that “your current Nokia devices will continue to get the full backing and support they deserve.”
What it doesn’t mention is the prospect of any new Nokia products. In other words, it has the vibe of a company winding down a product line without the guts to actually say so outright.
Those vibes continue into a LinkedIn post from Lars Silberbauer, CMO of Nokia Phones and HMD.
“While we’ve been known as the makers of Nokia phones, our vision extends beyond this legacy,” he wrote. “We’re transitioning from being a licensee to becoming a multi-brand company with our own distinct HMD brand product line, complemented by several licensing partnerships and significant brand collaborations we’re itching to unveil at MWC later this month.”
In short, long-term, it doesn’t look good for Nokia as a brand, even if the spirit lives on in HMD handsets or we get a couple more Nokia handsets.
It all feels a bit reminiscent of BlackBerry’s stilted afterlife when RIM exited the smartphone market: first licenced by TCL Communication, which gave us a couple of middling Android-powered BlackBerries, and then picked up by Onward Mobility which… didn’t.