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Nokia Brand Returning To Market After Breaking Free From Microsoft

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Nokia is changing hands again, but this time, the sale of the company will allow it to finally sell Nokia-branded, Android-powered devices.

A quick backstory: a little more than two years ago, Microsoft bought Nokia's phone division. Now, the tech company is letting it go. Well, it's letting go of its feature phones division.

The story gets even more interesting. The sale of Microsoft's low-end phone unit in a $350 million deal involves a new Finland-based company named HMD Global. It may sound new, but its owner is one we're all familiar with - Foxconn.

That's right. The controversial Chinese manufacturer of iPhones owns the company that just bought what will be the return of Nokia in Android form. In addition, the 4,500 former employees of Microsoft's phone division will also be switching sides to HMD Global.

The fine print of a press release, however, reveals that Nokia Technologies itself won't be making Android-powered devices. The company basically just licensed HMD sole use of the Nokia brand on phones and tablets worldwide for the next 10 years. So yes, upcoming phones bearing the "Nokia" name will be powered by Android, but these won't necessarily be made by the Nokia we knew and loved in the company's heyday a decade ago.

Nonetheless, HMD Global plans to leverage, grow and of course, ride on Nokia's global brand reach to sell beautifully designed, high-quality devices that we have come to expect from the Nokia brand.

Besides the hundreds of millions they've already spent, the Finnish Foxconn-owned company will also pay out more than $500 million in the next three years to support the worldwide marketing of the new breed of Nokia phones and tablets.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name. ... Working with HMD and FIH will let us participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world while staying true to our licensing business model," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies.

Photo: John Karakatsanis | Flickr 

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