Multiple handsets on the way
If supply chain rumors cited by Digital Trends and other tech news outlets are anything to go by, Nokia’s (NOK) return to the handsets space could keep its rivals on edge.
The company is reportedly working on more than half a dozen mobile devices to be unveiled this year. Nokia’s handset pipeline is said to include the iconic feature phone Nokia 3310, a device that became popular in the pre-smartphone era because of its robust build and longer battery life. The chart below shows the top smartphone brands by market share in 4Q16, according to Gartner.
Nokia and Android
Nokia returned to the handset spaceafter a two-year hiatus with the Nokia 6, a smartphone running Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Android operating system. The device was released in late 2016 in China (FXI) (MCHI) and retailed for $245. The handset boasts 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 16MP back camera, and an 8MP front camera.
However, rumors point to Nokia launching more smartphone models this year, with the list including Nokia 5, Nokia 3, Nokia E1, and Nokia Pixel.
Headaches for Huawei
Nokia’s return to the phone business is likely to rattle Huawei, Xiaomi, BBK Electronics, and other budget handset makers. The new Nokia handsets expected to be released in 2017 appear to be aimed at the entry-level market, which would increase their appeal among consumers in the developing world. Huawei and Xiaomi have grown rapidly by targeting consumers in emerging markets with budget smartphones offering impressive features.