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Nokia to return to smartphone market in 2017?


Nokia logo

UPDATE 20/11: Well, it's pretty much official. HMD Global, the firm that now owns the Nokia license, is confirmed for MWC 2017 in February.

That can only mean one thing – that the company is planning to debut new handsets at the big trade fair, where the Galaxy S8 is also expected to debut.

The official MWC website has been updated to show HMD will be in attendance, though it remains unclear how many phones will be unveiled at the event.

Rumours that the 'D1C' device, which has cropped up on a couple of benchmarking sites, is one of the new Nokia phones were seemingly proved wrong when the latest leak seemed to suggest the product is actually a tablet.

However, many are still confident the D1C is in fact a smartphone, which is rumoured to come with a 5.5-inch Full HD display and looks set to come with mid-range internals if the benchmarking leaks are accurate.

At this point, just what we'll see at MWC 2017 is still very much a mystery, but at least we've got a date for Nokia's grand return.

Of course, there's no official confirmation from HMD Global that new handsets will be unveiled at the event, but there doesn't appear to be any other reason for the company's presence in Barcelona.

The news that the firm will be attending follows the leak of a slide from its Capital Markets Day presentation which clearly shows HMD will debut new handsets in 2017.

Original story continues below

There's been a lot of rumours doing the rounds of late that suggest former smartphone giant Nokia will be returning to smartphones very soon.

We've already had reports that the company is working on three or four new Android devices, previously said to be arriving by the end of the year.

There's also been a lot of speculation around the as yet unannounced 'D1C' device, which has been spotted in benchmarking databases and could either be a smartphone or tablet.

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But now, it seems we've got a little more in the way of concrete news regarding Nokia's plans, as an official slide from the firm’s Capital Markets Day presentation states it will be returning to the smartphone market in 2017.

The slide was obtained by NokiaPowerUser and lays out the company's plans for the next two years, including 'expanded VR leadership'.

But its the unequivocal line under the 2017 heading that reads 'Nokia brand's return to smartphones' which is most revealing.

Nokia slideImage via NokiaPowerUser

The report also claims Nokia is preparing to unveil new devices at MWC 2017, which is set to take place in February and will see numerous companies debut new handsets.

Could the 'D1C' be the first Nokia handset to debut next year? Details remain unclear at this point, but Microsoft exec James Rutherfoord previously told Vietnamese publication CAND.com.vn, that HMD Global will be launching two new Nokia-branded phones in Q4 2016 and Q2 2017.

Whether we'll see any Nokia handsets this year is also unclear, but at this point it looks like we'll see the company returning to smartphones sooner rather than later.

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Let us know if you're excited for Nokia's return in the comments.

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