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Reborn Nokia phones biz loses its head

More time to play Snake

By Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2017

The boss of HMD Global, the company reviving Nokia-branded phones, quit unexpectedly today.

In a terse statement, the company said the departure of CEO Arto Nummela was “by mutual arrangement”. But it’s clear the Board didn’t have a replacement lined up: HMD President Florian Seiche takes over as acting CEO. Seiche is the former European boss of HTC’s EMEA division, and came via Nokia and Microsoft. CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood called the move “dramatic”.

The “New Nokia” has yet to release its flagship for Western markets, although this is tipped by some to be announced near the end of the month. Leaker Evan Blass posted a render of a device believed to be the “Nokia 8” with fairly generic high end specifications for 2017.

The New Nokia hasn’t introduced any breakthrough innovations so far, choosing to build volume with fairly generic, well made low-end and mid-tier Androids. Its huge publicity coup was creating a new “dumbphone”, which rode in on a wave of nostalgia.

At MWC in March few attendees wanted to know about the first three Android models on display - but all about the 3310.

In case you’ve forgotten - how could you? - the reborn Nokia’s first Androids look like this:

After unveiling itself in May last year, HMD's strategy was to build up volume rapidly in emerging markets where the Nokia brand was still strong. But when it comes to budget Androids, perhaps the emotional appeal of "Nokia" is less persuasive than HMD hoped. The company has not disclosed sales figures. ®

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