Nokia has announced that it will be making a return to the smartphone market some time during 2017, with the release of a brand new model.
The tech brand has not had a major hold over the mobile phone market since the early noughties, when its classic 3310 handset and distinctive ringtone were the must-have assets for many a young person. Recently, the brand was acquired by Microsoft, with a collaboration leading to the development of the Lumia smartphone range.
Today, Apple holds a 91 per cent share of the global smartphone market, according to data from Strategy Analytics, meaning any new model from Nokia will have a big challenge on its hands.
Nevertheless, Nokia has heavily hinted that its new smartphone model will be available by the second quarter of next year at the latest, with new entity HMD set to be in charge of developing the device. HMD was created earlier in 2016 to combine Nokia's patents, expertise and patents with the research, development and manufacturing knowledge of fellow tech firm Foxconn.
HMD has an exclusive agreement to enable it to use the Nokia brand on new phone models over the coming decade, with a budget of at least €500 million (£423 million) earmarked for the marketing of any new products during this period.
The new smartphone is set to operate on the Android network, but only a few details has been revealed about its design, features and unique selling points. All that is known for certain is that the new device will mark a comeback for the Nokia brand, after it has spent the past few years being overshadowed by tech counterparts Apple and Samsung.
Speculation is amounting that the new Nokia Android will have a display screen sized between 5.2 and 5.5 inches, and will have a Zeiss lens on its camera, allowing users to take top-quality photos using their phone. However, there are some concerns that it will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, which will place it somewhat behind other smartphone models, as the majority are not manufactured with a more up-to-date Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 instead.
With HMD at the helm of new product design for Nokia for the next ten years, it's likely that more smartphone models and tablets will follow the device mooted to be launched early next year.
Despite the new buzz of excitement surrounding the future of Nokia right now, it's probable that eager tech fans will have to wait until the end of February and the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 event in Barcelona before any further concrete details of the model are released.
Nokia's comeback is set to be one of the main highlights of MWC 2017, with president and chief executive officer (CEO) Rajeev Suri one of the event's keynote speakers. Other highlights of the congress look set to include speeches from Kaspersky Lab's Eugene Kaspersky, AT&T CEO John Stankey and Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete Lopez, chairman and CEO of Telefonica.