HMD drops Nokia name from its phones, marking the end of an era for the iconic brand

The Nokia name, which was brought back to life through the partnership with HMD Global, may soon be on its last legs.

Nishita Gupta
Nishita Gupta February 1, 2024
Updated 2024/02/01 at 2:39 PM

Nokia once defined a new, modern phone world while also setting the benchmark for what was truly cool (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/The Indian Express)

Nokia is finally headed to be laid to rest forever. HMD Global, the exclusive licensee of Nokia-branded phones for the last eight years, announced on Thursday it would no longer use the iconic name in its future releases, signalling it’s time to move on. This marks the end of an experiment that the Finnish startup began in 2016 to reintroduce the most loved phone brand to a new set of consumers.

With HMD going solo, Nokia once again joins BlackBerry and Palm, the prominent brands that once sat on top of the phone segment but couldn’t compete with the likes of Apple and Google, leading to their premature departure from the market.

“While we’ve been known as the makers of Nokia phones, our vision extends beyond this legacy. 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,” wrote Lars Silberbauer, CMO of Nokia Phones/HMD on LinkedIn.

Things to come

The demise of Nokia-branded phones was not a surprise. Last year, the company did signal that it would launch its own line of mobile devices. However, this doesn’t imply that HMD will abandon the Nokia name from its phones immediately, but will focus primarily on its brand going forward. Nokia, which is a giant in the telecoms infrastructure space after the sale of the mobile unit, licensed the Nokia brand to HMD Global for 10 years, as per the licensing deal. With two years still left, HMD Global will be obliged to launch Nokia-branded phones, which is why the brand’s website still states that the Finnish company is the “Maker of Nokia phones”.

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