A Finnish company dedicated to bringing the once-iconic Nokia brand back to the mobile market on Sunday simultaneously introduced three new smartphones to Vietnam, a market where Nokia devices used to dominate the bestselling list.
Nokia mobile phones became a thing of the past in November 2014, when Microsoft Corp rolled out its Lumia 535 smartphone, the first device without the Nokia name since it paid US$7.2 billion to buy the Finnish firm’s handset business seven months earlier.
Since then, the next Microsoft-made, Windows Phone-run smartphones, developed on the legacy of Nokia, had failed to win over the Vietnamese market, long dominated by Samsung’s Android devices and Apple’s iPhones.
In mid-2016, HMD Global, based in Espoo, Finland, signed a ten-year strategic licensing agreement with Nokia to acquire the right to develop mobile devices under the Nokia name, with an aim to make the brand great again globally.
Vietnam has become one of the first markets for that ambitious goal, with a family of three Android smartphones unveiled in the Southeast Asian country on Sunday.
Following Sunday’s introduction, the new smartphones, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, will be officially available for purchase in Vietnam in the middle of this month.
All powered by the latest Android version Nougat, the devices boast considerably good specs and will be affordable to low-income earners, fetching VND2.99 million (US$130), VND4.25 million ($190) and VND5.59 million ($245), respectively.
The Nokia 5
The three smartphones, marketed as the “Nokia 3,5,6”, were unveiled by HDM at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.
The Finnish company said in a press release on February 26 that this “new generation” of Nokia smartphones “demonstrates a belief that every consumer should have access to premium quality, not just those with high end flagship devices.”
The new Nokia 3 is described as a handset that “delivers an unprecedented quality at an affordable price point,” whereas the Nokia 5 is “an elegant smartphone that fits perfectly in [the user’s] hand.”
The most expensive of the three, Nokia 5, is said to be capable of “delivering performance and immersive entertainment in a premium and extremely robust design.”
In late May, the ‘classic reimagined’ Nokia 3310, another bid by HDM to find back fame for the brand, also hit shelves in Vietnam, hoping to attract buyers who want to have a sense of nostalgia with the once-iconic ‘brick’.
On December 1, 2016, HDM said in a press release that it had entered the smartphone market with a goal to “create a new generation of Nokia branded mobile phones” through an exclusive ten-year brand licensing agreement.
The company’s leadership team also made no secret of their ambition to become a significant player in the global smartphone market with new Nokia smartphones utilizing Google’s Android operating system.
The Nokia 3310