Technology

Nokia phones are returning to Brazil after almost 6 years

The mobile brand is now managed by HMD Global, which already operates in other Latin American markets

Nokia 2.3, the new smartphone for the Brazilian market. Photo: Nokia
  • New phone will cost BRL 900 ($165) and will compete for market share with Motorola, Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei;
  • Sale of Nokia’s cell phone division to Microsoft in 2013 did not give good results.

After almost 6 years away from Brazil, one of the technology brands that played a central role in the popularization of local mobile communications between the 1990s and 2000s is back in the country. Nokia started selling on Sunday its Nokia 2.3 model, a new smartphone that should stir up nostalgia among Brazilians.

But the Finnish brand is now a very different firm from the one that moved away from the Brazilian market. The manufacturer is currently managed by HMD Global, a company that was founded by former Nokia employees to carry out the assembly of smartphones with the Android operating system. 

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Previously, in 2013, Nokia’s mobile device division had been bought by Microsoft in an attempt to get its Windows Phone operating system off the ground, a plan that was abandoned shortly afterwards as it failed to stand up to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

Three years later, the brand rights for mobile phones returned to the Finns, but the parent company maintained its focus on manufacturing network equipment, including in the 5G-technology field. That was when HMD Global appeared, and since 2017 it has launched and marketed Nokia devices in more than 50 countries. 

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Latin American presence

Since then, other Latin American markets, such as Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, have already been receiving Nokia cell phones. In an interview with O Estado de S. Paulo, HMD’s head of portfolio for the Americas, Juan Olano, says that Brazil is a strategic country for Nokia phones. “It is a peculiar market, so we need to learn the processes little by little and adapt”. The return was also delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sold for BRL 900 ($165), the Nokia 2.3 should compete for space with devices made by market leaders Samsung and Motorola, as well as by Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi. Nokia’s cell phones will be imported and distributed by Multilaser, a Brazilian manufacturer of electronic devices.