Helsinki : Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia said it plans a global comeback into its former goldmine of handsets and tablets, by licensing its brand to a newly-created Finnish company.

US technology major Microsoft, the owner of Nokia’s mobile device business, has agreed to sell the latter’s branding rights to Finnish firm HMD Global and contract manufacturer Foxconn for USD 350 million. Nokia “will grant HMD Global Ltd the exclusive global licence to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next 10 years,” the world’s former number one handsets company said.

As part of the process, HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of FoxConn Technology Group, will take over Microsoft’s feature phone business for $350 million ,which it had bought from Nokia in 2014, the US company said.

Under the pact, Nokia Technologies will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of Nokia-branded mobile products, covering both the brand and the intellectual property rights.

Nokia was the world’s top mobile phone maker between 1998 and 2011 but was overtaken by South Korean rival Samsung after failing to respond to the rapid rise of smartphones.

In 2011, it chose to bet on the Windows mobile platform, which proved to be a failure.

The new product portfolio will be based on Android. The Finnish company sold its handset unit to Microsoft in 2014 for some $7.2 billion which dropped using the Nokia name on its Lumia smartphones.   -AFP/PTI

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