HMD To Release Nokia 1 As Android Go Phone In March 2018

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The Nokia 1 would be HMD Global’s next entry-level smartphone, and it would probably launch under Google’s Android Go program in March of next year, according to Russian tech journalist Eldar Murtazin. The entry-level smartphone would reportedly cost 5,990 rubles, or about $100.

Nokia 1 – what to expect

HMD’s Nokia 1 is expected to come with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage. As of now, it is not known if the handset would support a microSD card slot. But, considering the recent low-end Android phones from HMD, the Nokia 1 should support expandable storage. Further, the handset would be integrated with a 720p, IPS LCD display.

The rumors though, should be taken with a grain of salt. HMD has little reason to develop the Nokia 1 as the company already has the Nokia 2, which itself is the bare minimum when it comes to the hardware and specs. Support for Google’s Android Go could be the only factor that could have inspired HMD to develop the Nokia 1. Possibly, Android Go could be the only difference between the Nokia 1 and Nokia 2.

Google first announced its Android GO initiative at the I/O developer conference earlier this year. Earlier this month, the company shared more details of the program at an event in India. According to Google, Android Go is perfect for smartphones with a RAM of 512MB to 1GB, and it aims to improve performance, data management and storage on the entry-level Android phones.

The OS will include a custom-designed version of the popular Google apps such as Maps, Search, Assistant and more. In addition, the OS itself will take less space along with offering a battery-saver feature. The Android GO phones are expected to be launched in selected markets, mainly the emerging markets.

Many smartphone makers committed their support to Google’s initiative, and it appears HMD was among them. Murtazin also revealed that Huawei is working on a phone to support Android Go.  The handset would reportedly cost about $90.

Nokia brand on path of successful comeback

HMD is working with a comprehensive product strategy for a successful comeback of the Nokia brand. The company has already released a wide variety of phones covering all price ranges, like the premium Nokia 8, mid-range Nokia 6 and the entry-level Nokia 2. HMD even re-launched feature phones such as the Nokia 3310 (2017). Now, with Nokia 1, the company is possibly aiming to reach the consumers that are low on budget, but want a full Android experience, something that Nokia 2 fails to cover.

According to Counterpoint Research, HMD shipped 2.8 million Nokia Android smartphones and 13.5 million Nokia feature phones in the third-quarter of 2017. Based on the data, Nokia is at the third spot in the feature phones category and 16th in the smartphone vendor list.

“The brands sentimental value within dealers and customers paired with quality smartphone launches is helping Nokia gain further market share,” said Counterpoint Research.

A separate report from Taiwan also claims the strong growth of the Nokia phones. The report says that the robust sales of Nokia phones made Foxconn the top ODM manufacturer in the third-quarter, notes nokiapoweruser.

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