Nokia confirms its new Android phones will hit U.S. shelves

Nokia confirmed its new Android-powered handsets will come to market in the U.S., but exactly when, and which models, is still unclear.

The once-dominant handset manufacturer introduced three new models at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. The Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 all run the latest version of Android and are priced between roughly $150 and $250.

The Finnish firm hasn’t officially disclosed any details regarding a U.S. debut for the phones, but this week it responded to a question on Twitter by acknowledging that they will be available in America. Phandroid was among the first to report the news. The company didn't say whether all three models will hit U.S. shelves, however.

As Phone Arena reported, all three models will be sold unlocked and are likely to support U.S. LTE networks, but won’t support the networks of Verizon and Sprint.

The Nokia brand’s return to phones was announced last year when Nokia signed a deal enabling a company called HMD to create a new generation of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. And multiple news outlets in November pointed to slides shown during the company’s Capital Markets Day in Barcelona where the company specifically lists 2017 as the return date.

Nokia’s return to smartphone branding will come after a circuitous route. As part of the arrangement, Microsoft agreed to sell HMD the right to use the Nokia brand on feature phones. It also said it was selling the manufacturing, sales and distribution parts of its feature-phone business to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of the manufacturing giant Foxconn.

The strategy allows Nokia to return to the hardware segment without having to endure the razor-thin margins that most device manufacturers tolerate in an increasingly competitive worldwide smartphone market. It could enable Nokia to tap emerging markets where its brand is still respected but where cheap Android phones dominate. But as Nokia’s tweet demonstrates, the company also has its eye on more mature markets.