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HMD’s first Nokia smartphone is heading to China

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Nokia followers hankering to get their palms on a brand new smartphone with their beloved model title — and with out Microsoft’s unloved cellular OS — might want to go to China in the event that they wish to purchase the primary Android-powered from the Finnish telephone maker that’s now licensing Nokia’s IP for telephones.

The brand new machine maker, HMD, was based final yr by a bunch of senior ex-Nokians, with the specific purpose of (solely) licensing Nokia’s model title for brand spanking new cellular — having acquired the related rights from former proprietor, Microsoft again in Could.

HMD’s first two mobiles, outted final month, have been each options telephones. Nevertheless it’s now introduced its debut smartphone: a “premium” handset it’s calling the Nokia 6, which is billed to launch in China in “early 2017”. The machine can be distributed solely by way of native electronics ecommerce large, JD.com, with a price-tag of 1699 CNY ($245).

So what sort of Nokia-branded Android smartphone will $245 purchase you? A extremely polished aluminum unibody handset, packing a 5.5 inch Gorilla Glass HD display screen, which, at a fast look, may go for an iPhone.

Inside there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and the most recent taste of Google’s Android OS (Nougat). Additionally on board: twin audio system, Dolby Atmos audio, a 16MP rear digicam and 8MP entrance dealing with lens (each f/2.zero).

Commenting in an announcement, CEO Arto Nummela, flagged components such because the Nokia 6’s design, sturdiness, leisure and show options. “The Nokia 6 is a results of listening to our shoppers who want a fantastically crafted handset with distinctive sturdiness, leisure and show options,” he mentioned.

Why is HMD specializing in China? It factors to the scale of the smartphone market — 552M+ customers final yr, with projected progress to 593M+ in 2017 — calling it “strategically essential”. So that is completely about looking for to drive quantity gross sales in a market that also has some progress potential, which, given what may even be measurement zero Android OEM margins as of late, is as you’d anticipate.

Nummela goes on to counsel HMD can be increasing its portfolio shortly with further handsets within the coming months — so once more, it seems to be to be gearing as much as push for quantity gross sales.

“Our ambition is to ship a premium product, which meets shopper wants at each worth level, in each market,” he mentioned. “We begin at this time, with our premium, top quality Nokia 6; constructed to ship a incredible core consumer expertise for Chinese language shoppers. We sit up for unveiling additional merchandise within the first half of this yr.”

The fiercely aggressive telephone making area has not been form to many a seasoned agency in recent times. So it stays to be seen whether or not a Finnish Nokia IP licensing car will discover fairer enterprise fortunes right here or be compelled to look at a veteran model being drowned out amid all the noise.

Based on Technique Analytics’ 2016 Q3 smartphone market report, three of the highest 5 machine makers hailed from China — with fast-growing native challenger OEMs corresponding to OPPO, Vivo and LeEco taking share from bigger agency Huawei, for instance.

The analyst dubbed competitors within the Chinese language market as “intense”, noting that Huawei’s progress greater than halved within the quarter owing to this clutch of home rivals. HMD will clearly be hoping so as to add its title to the listing of rising challenges in future years.

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