Spark has extended its exclusive carrier deal with HMD Global to sell a range of Nokia smartphones, with the Nokia 7.1 hitting retail channels effective immediately.
Announcing the contract extension, James Robinson, acting country manager of HMD Global, said HMD aims to deliver a "unique, premium experience" in collaboration with "best in class" partners such as Spark.
Since the exclusive arrangement was first inked last October, the Nokia range has been sold by Spark online and through its retail chain.
Over the past year, Spark bought and took direct management of the 26 privately-owned stores in its 62-store chain.
Spark general manager of customer channels Grant McBeath said at the time there was a resurgence in the importance of physical locations to complement the digital experiences.
“For instance, while many customers are choosing to buy online, the option to visit a physical location to ‘click and collect’, exchange or return items, or simply get the opportunity to touch and feel a new device prior to purchase is increasingly seen as an attractive choice," he said.
The Nokia 7.1 is the first smartphone to come with PureDisplay screen technology, promising a high contrast ratio, greater clarity and enhanced colours.
The phone is built ready for the Android 9 software update, which includes AI powered features.
“The Nokia range has proved popular in the last year so we want to keep giving customers that choice," said Spark value management lead, Rajesh Singh. "The Nokia 7.1 delivers a bigger experience without a bigger handset to offer you a stunning smartphone with flagship features at mid-tier prices.”
HMD Global is a Finnish company created out of the mobile phone business Nokia sold to Microsoft in 2014, then bought back in 2016.
In 2015, Microsoft wrote off $7.5 billion on the deal, which was dubbed a "monumental mistake" by one analyst.