Microsoft has announced an agreement to sell its feature-phone business to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn, and another entity called HMD Global, Oy for around $350 million.
HMD Global was founded out of Finland in 2015, and initially it looked like it was a business vehicle of sorts set up to help facilitate the Microsoft transaction — Finland, if you remember, is home to Nokia, the former mobile phone giant that sold its core hardware assets to Microsoft two years back.
Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name, said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies.
So while Nokia still harbors ambitions to be a big mobile brand, it will have to rely on others much more than it once did — you may remember the company launched an Android-powered tablet in China back in 2014, well, that was under a similar arrangement as to what it will be doing now moving forward.This is where HMD Global comes into play — it s a new private company seemingly founded under Nokia s volition to build a new wave of mobile devices, replete with the Nokia brand.
The venture is actually being run by CEO Arto Nummela, formerly of Nokia and the head of Microsoft s Mobile Devices business in Greater Asia, Middle East, and Africa, as well as Microsoft s soon-to-be-sold feature phones business.
Nummela will be aided by President Florian Seiche, who currently serves as senior vice president for Europe sales and marketing at Microsoft Mobile.We don t yet know what these devices will look like, but we do know that HMD plans to invest around $500 million over the next three years to support the marketing of Nokia-branded devices, which HMD says will be funded via its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.