Android Go phones aside, HMD Global, which owns Nokia, will get Google’s “seal of approval” for every Android phone it makes.
BARCELONA—Nokia’s return to the main stage at Mobile World Congress isn’t just about cashing in on nostalgia. HMD Global (which owns Nokia) announced that every Android phone it makes from now on will adhere to Google’s updated Android One standard.
“Our entire range, with the exception of the Android Go Edition devices, will be Android One,” said Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer for HMD Global. “We want to be even faster with the latest innovations and we want to join forces on going to market…That’s the reason why Nokia phones will be joining Android One.”
What Android One means in 2018 is not what it did in 2014. Back then it meant low-cost phones for emerging markets; now it means high performance, solid battery life, durable design, guaranteed updates, and a bloatware-free stock Android experience.
It’s as much of a branding exercise for Google as anything else. Fabian Teichmueller, head of Android Partnerships at Google in the UK, describes it as a “seal of approval” from Google. But for MHD Global, it’s a way of announcing to the world that Nokia’s here to stay this time.
According to Sarvikas, “Every smartphone coming from Nokia is going to be part of Android One…Now we have all of the capabilities to commit to this.”
The three phones announced at Mobile World Congress—the New Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco—are all Android One devices, and should receive timely software updates as Google’s mobile OS evolves.