Everyone’s trusty old Finnish manufacturer Nokia is finally making a return to the smartphone ecosystem in the first half of 2017. In an official statement, the company has today confirmed that its agreement with HMD Global Oy has come into effect. The partnership between the two has come into play and all of Nokia’s smartphone-related operations will now be handled by HMD.

HMD is Nokia’s Finnish counterpart and has now gained access to all branding rights and intellectual property licensing from Microsoft — who sold it to them and FIH Mobile earlier this year for a meager $350 million. Thus, it has begun operations under an exclusive global brand license deal for the next ten years.

Expressing his delight on re-entering the smartphone market, Brad Rodrigues, interim president of Nokia Technologies, says,

We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown around the world for the return of the Nokia brand to smartphones. The HMD Global team has the ambition, talent, and resources to bring a new generation of Nokia branded phones to market, and we wish them every success. I’m sure our millions of Nokia fans will be excited to see their new products!

The primary focus of this manufacturer, set up in May 2016, is to provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. Under this deal, Nokia will receive royalty payments for the sale of every phone and tablet under their brand moniker.

Nokia branded feature phones remain one of the most popular choices of mobile phone in many markets around the world today and HMD will continue to market them as part of an integrated portfolio, alongside a new range of smartphones and tablets to be announced later by HMD,

mentions the official statement.

Nokia D1C rumors

Now we know that Nokia is making a scintillating return to the smartphone market, let’s shed some light on rumors and speculations of its upcoming device. Code-named D1C, the Nokia-branded smartphone will be powered by Android 7.0 and not the usual Windows 10 Mobile — the brand has already suffered enough at the hands of Microsoft.

As for the specifications, we’ll have to take a look at two set of these as the company is suspected of working on two different variants. The first one will be a low-end version packing a 5-inch 1080p display, 1.4 Ghz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 505 GPU and 16 GB of internal storage. The smartphone will also sport a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter.

The other variant, most likely the high-end one, is likely to carry forward the same internal specifications with changes in screen size, RAM, and camera. This D1C variant will sport a larger 5.5-inch display, a 16 MP rear shooter coupled with 3 GB of RAM. Leaked renders suggest that Nokia and HMD have already designed the smartphone and it is now in the prototyping phase.

Nokia is planning to make it grand return to the smartphone ecosystem at MWC’17 (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, sometime in the first week of March. We’ll update you once we receive more insider info on these upcoming smartphones.

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