A lot of people have a soft spot for the Nokia brand due to the company’s history in the cell phone market. Before smartphones were a thing, Nokia was a big player in the mobile phone business, with millions of devices sold around the world. As smartphones took over, the dominance of Nokia fell to the wayside. Eventually, Microsoft acquired the company’s phone business, but that venture died down as well once Microsoft started to give up on the Windows Mobile business. Some of the founding members of Nokia branched off to form HMD Global, and this fledgling company secured a licensing agreement to start selling smartphones with the Nokia brand name.
This made a lot of Android fans happy, and many of us eagerly waited for the company to start selling new devices. They started off competing in the low-end and mid-range market with the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 and there are even rumors of a Nokia 2 currently in development. But was the Nokia 8 that enthusiasts had their eye on because it would be their first flagship Android smartphone. Reports went back and forth about which countries it would be released in, though, and there’s some indication it might come to the United States.
HMD Global has done rather well in the eyes of many Android enthusiasts. They’ve shipped phones with stock Android and have often times beat out Google when it comes to monthly security updates. They have even promised all of their current devices will receive the Android Oreo update.
They’ve ticked a lot of the right boxes to fancy our interests, but one piece of the puzzle has been left out: the bootloader. Juho Sarvikas is the Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, and in a recent tweet speaking about the Nokia 8 he confirmed they would not be offering an official bootloader unlock method “due to security.” While this could change in the future, this announcement is disappointing for those of us who may have wanted to flash a custom ROM or kernel onto the device.