Widespread rumors about Nokia returning to the smartphone business have just been confirmed. The company is planning a return to the market for 2017 after having sold its device business to Microsoft in 2014. Since then, Nokia smartphones have been sold exclusively under the Lumia brand. Now that restrictions from Microsoft preventing Nokia from selling devices under its own name having been lifted, the company is set to partner with Finnish company HMD to re-enter the smartphone market. The newly formed company, according to The Telegraph will spend approximately $530 million on marketing the phones over the course of the next three years. The exclusive hardware production deal between the two companies is set for ten years.

According to HMD in a May press release, HMD has signed a strategic licensing agreement with Nokia Technologies, the advanced technology and licensing unit of Nokia Corporation, giving HMD sole use of the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next decade, and cellular standard essential patent licenses. They went on to say, HMD intends to leverage and grow Nokias global brand reach, delivering beautifully designed, high quality products to people all over the world in line with Nokias brand promise. HMD intends to invest over USD 500 million over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, funded via its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.

According to a report from The Telegraph, the devices are expected to run on the Android operating system, however specific details on the phone have not been released yet. Additional rumors on Nokia Power User claim that the company is working on two-high end devices with a metallic design and the famous Nokia feel. Theyre said to be expected to run Android Nougat out of the box with one of the phones carrying a 5.2 inch display and a larger phablet style phone with a 5.5 inch display. One area of interest is the camera, with rumors revolving around the use of graphene sensors. Additional technologies could include a Z-Launcher user interface and a fingerprint scanner, the latter of which would be expected given the current market with fingerprint scanners from the iPhone 7 and the newly released Google Pixel line of phones.

The designs of these new devices are expected to be released at the Mobile Congress in February 2017 in Barcelona. New Nokia phones could present unique opportunities for the company to get back into the mainstream consumer smartphone market. However, with massive industry changes over the the past few years, Nokia and HMD will face a new set of challenges, particularly when it comes to surviving in the very competitive Android space with Google, LG and OnePlus all featuring hot new flagship devices. Be sure to take a look at these pictures of what the rumored devices might look like and to read more about the what appears to be the newest players in the smartphone market.

If you currently own a Lumia phone, be sure to take a look at the GHOSTEK CLOAK SERIES for the Microsoft Lumia 950.