Nokia teases Feb. 26 as date for next smartphone

Nokia teases Feb. 26 as date for next smartphone

Nokia Corp. (NOK) partner HMD Global has more mobile phones up its sleeve under the Nokia name, with Feb. 26 being teased as the date for the next smartphone.

In a Facebook post, Nokia Mobile said: “Get ready! The Nokia 6 is coming to China! More announcements to follow on February 26th … Save the date!” While Nokia Mobile didn’t reveal more, The Verge pointed out the date meshes with the start of the Mobile World Congress, a telecom trade show being held in Barcelona, Spain. Expectations are already high that more Nokia-branded phones will be unveiled during the event.

HMD announced the launch of the Nokia 6 smartphone, exclusive to China. In a press release, HMD said the decision to launch the first smartphone running on Android in China is reflective of the size of the Chinese market and its growth prospects. HMD said the Nokia 6 will be available via Chinese online retailer JD.com.

“China is the largest and most competitive smartphone market in the world. It is no coincidence that we have chosen to bring our first Android device to China with a long-term partner. JD.com is known for its upwardly mobile customer base and it has for many years believed in the Nokia brand and sold millions of our products to Chinese customers,” said Nestor Xu, vice president, Greater China, of HMD Global, in a press release announcing the Nokia 6. “Launching our first smartphone device, in such a strategically important market, with JD.com a trusted online retailer marks a signal of intent.” The company went on to say the Nokia 6 is the first of more smartphones to come this year. (See also: It's Official: New Nokia Smartphones Coming in '17.)

In addition to rolling out more Nokia-branded smartphones, rumors have been flying that Nokia is gearing up to create its own digital assistant, named Viki. Citing a trademark filing reported by Dutch blog GSMInfo.nl, Digital Trends reported the trademark filing described software that would be used to get information online in a chat interface. If the move proves true, Nokia would be joining a growing list of technology companies creating digital assistants that can respond to voice commands thanks to the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.