Nokia reveals 8 Sirroco, reboots classic 8110 slider

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Seeking to capitalise on their comeback over the past year, the makers of Nokia phones are expanding to include its first premium Android smartphone – the Nokia 8 Sirroco – and a remake of one of its biggest hits of the 1990s, the 8110 “slider” phone.

Set up by ex-Nokia executives who have licensed the famous brand, HMD Global – as the year-old company is known – has focused on mid-priced and entry-level Androids since entering the smartphone market.

The Nokia 8 is the company’s flagship phone, priced at €749 and designed to compete with Samsung’s and Huawei’s premium models when it is released in April.

A new, 4G-ready version of Nokia’s 8110 is priced at €79 and scheduled to go on sale in May. The 1990s throwback model comes in two colour choices, classic black or banana yellow, a play on how its keyboard slid out, inspiring the nickname “banana phone”.

Nokia, once the world’s dominant phone maker, sold its handset business to Microsoft in 2014 and is now focused on telecom network equipment.

HMD took over the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft in 2016 and struck a deal with Nokia Oyj to use the brand on smartphones.

Chief Executive Florian Seiche said HMD has sold around 30 million phones after introducing 11 new phone models over the past year. On Sunday, it announced two new models, plus refreshed versions of three phones first offered last year.

“We feel great about the momentum we had in 2017 and that gives us the confidence to double down in 2018,” Seiche told reporters at a briefing in London ahead of the product launch.

Mobile phone market tracker Counterpoint Research said Nokia phones surged during 2017 to become the world’s No. 1 seller of low-cost feature phones and No. 11 in smartphones after only entering the market last year. On a combined basis, Nokia now ranks as the No. 6 mobile phone seller, Counterpoint calculates.

HMD’s strategy is to use distribution partnerships with 600 top mobile operators and retailers in selected markets around the world to offer reliable, affordable products with the latest innovations, plus monthly Google security updates on all phones.

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