According to VentureBeat, none of the smartphones launched at this year’s World Congress on Mobile Communications (MWC) in Barcelona have yet a stunning product. As usual, various manufacturers released a variety of smart phones, Samsung once again dominate. In addition, network neutrality has been the focus of attention as Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), attended. 5G also has many early and interesting innovations, but the distance remains a reality.
However, under the flagship of Samsung and the future of 5G Dreamland, HMD Global shines this year. Known as the “Nokia Phone House,” the company introduced more than one new product and two new products, but five new Nokia branded phones. In addition to four smartphones, including the flagship Nokia 7 Plus, and a nostalgic product in the form of a redesigned Nokia 8810 “banana phone,” it is clear that the Nokia handset brand regains its attention here.
If you have been following the legend of Nokia phones for the past few years, you know the background story, but we still need a brief review.
Nokia itself no longer produce mobile phones. In 2016, the Finnish company helped set up a new business called HMD Global to ensure that Nokia’s mobile phone brands will survive the licensing agreement. HMD Global mainly develops Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones, while Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile is responsible for production tasks.
Therefore, in addition to lending the famous names of these phones, Nokia has no direct connection with the development of these phones. After all, when you have a good traditional cell phone brand and it’s accepted by billions of people, why are you using the HMD Global name on your new device?
Although HMD Global is still in its infancy, things have proceeded quite smoothly. In December last year, HMD Global launched 6 smartphones and 5 feature phones in the market during the first full year of its 10-year license agreement. Together with five other new devices announced at MWC, Nokia will soon have 16 new mobile devices available for purchase worldwide. Early sales figures are encouraging.
In December last year, Counterpoint Research analysts reported that in the third quarter of 2017, from the point of view of handset shipments, Nokia branded handsets are the eighth most popular handsets in the world and the best-selling brand in the Middle East Britain’s third best-selling brand. But it is worth noting that these data include feature phones and smart phones.
However, the same analyst reported the fourth quarter of 2017 last month, noting that Nokia smartphones have outsell HTC, Sony, Google, OnePlus, Lenovo and others. Obviously, HMD Global sold 4.4 million Nokia smartphones last quarter.
These numbers are not specific, but make people happy. HMD Global apparently wants to strike hard while MWC announces the launch of five new handsets. However, do not be over-proud, as Nokia’s recent footprint accounts for only 1% of the total smartphone market share. More importantly, we should look at the bigger picture to see how Nokia did it.
Historically, the timing of the latest release is noteworthy, with Nokia’s handset brands having been stuck in the downward direction for the last decade.
In February 2008, market research firm Gartner released a report that Nokia is the world’s largest mobile phone brand, accounting for about 40% of the previous year’s smart phone shipments. However, Apple had just released its first iPhone in mid-2007, and by the end of 2008, the first commercial Android phone was available. With the outbreak of the smartphone war, Nokia snapped up Symbian in 2008 to boost its ambitions in emerging areas.
The next thing happened very quickly. When the iPhone and Android devices start to roll out, it’s always interesting to see the stock prices of some tech companies. In the case of Nokia, its share price slipped almost vertically from October 2007 to October, more than halved. By 2011, the company has been Microsoft’s revenue pocket, the two sides pushed the third force in the field of smart phone operating system, Nokia’s share price in 2012 fell to record lows.
By 2014, Nokia’s mobile phone business was entirely owned by Microsoft, but by the second year, Microsoft had $ 7.6 billion in assets under the acquisition. In 2016, Microsoft terms of the acquisition expires, Microsoft and Nokia parted ways. It is also at this moment that Nokia realizes that it will have to start all over again because it does not have the necessary production infrastructure to manufacture the hardware on a large scale.
However, Nokia has its own brand and is a strong brand, recognized by millions of people over a given age. It does not matter who made the phone in the end, it is important to have a clear Nokia badge on the phone.
Many have written about the history of HMD Global and Nokia, a strong brand name, high-end Android phones, a handful of nostalgic products like the Nokia 3310, and the recently released 8810. We are confident in restoring the former Nokia handset brand.
But a swallow does not summer. At HMD Global, several good quarterly performances and the launch of a series of new handsets do not mean it has regained the world. But that does show the power of the brand and its appeal to consumers is still unparalleled.