HMD Global at One: Can Nokia smartphones rule again?

Some statistics are available and it is clear that HMD Global has had a good first year. The manufacturer is excitedly pushing on. Mister Mobility breaks it down and asks, Can Nokia smartphones rule the world again?

Nokia was once the world’s largest smartphone brand and ruled the mobile industry for about ten (10) years, but fell from that coveted spot after failing to bring its smartphones up-to-speed with the times. The company jumped in bed with Microsoft to make Windows-powered smartphones but that didn’t work out either, eventually leading to the sale of Nokia’s mobile division to Microsoft. Nokia finally got back into smartphones and launched its first set of proper Android smartphones in 2017.

hmd global nokia smartphones rule

It has been a year now since HMD Global launched its first Nokia-branded Android smartphone, Nokia 6. From all available information, Nokia smartphones have done quite well in the market since then. Early information is that HMD Global shipped 8.45 million Nokia smartphones in 2017, capturing 1% of the smartphone market. This is also reported as translating to the number 11 smartphone brand in the world.

For comparison, Google sold just 3.9 million Pixel smartphones in the same year.

Nokia Outsold These Known Mobile Brands In 2017

To give you a picture, Nokia Mobile sold more smartphones in the last quarter of 2017 than Google, HTC, Asus, OnePlus, Alcatel, Coolpad, and Gionee did. And those brands have been hard at work all the time the Nokia brand was in a coma.

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Those who knew had no doubt at any point in time in the last few year of Nokia’s mobile travails that the brand still carried serious mindshare. There are very few brands on the planet that can pull off a rebound of this sort. And Nokia is one of them.

Nokia is now the number one cell phone brand in the Middle East, number 3 in the UK and Indonesia, number 4 in Russia, number 5 in India.

Those are impressive achievements. If only the brand was able to pull more weight in China, the rankings would be much better. Someone is going to ask, what about Nigeria? We do not have statistics (yet) for Nigeria, but for the greater part of 2017, we did not see any strong marketing push by Nokia in the country. And one hardly ran into random people using a Nokia smartphone.

In the last few weeks though, there has been a lot of buzz around Nokia smartphones in the country. Hopefully, we will see a resurgence too in Nigeria, which used to be one of Nokia’s core markets in Africa.

Can Nokia smartphones rule the world again?

I have interacted with some Nokia executives and they exude confidence. Some have said to me that they “will surprise” the world. I love the excitement. Can Nokia smartphones rule the world again?

Samsung, which once chased Nokia hard to take the number one spot, was clearly the happiest entity in the mobile world when Nokia Mobile fell on hard times. And they wasted no time in stamping their foot everywhere. The tables are turned and now it is Nokia’s turn to chase down not just their arch-enemy, Samsung, but also 9 others if they will rule smartphones again.

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Nokia is up against Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, Xiaomi, Oppo, LG, ZTE and others. If HMD Global wants to go for the top spot, they jolly well have a right to aspire. But this is going to be a tough fight. Still, if there is any mobile brand that has the best shot at pulling it off, it is Nokia. Whether they are able to actually do so only remains to be seen.

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Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

One thought on “HMD Global at One: Can Nokia smartphones rule again?

  • February 15, 2018 at 9:10 pm
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    If Nokia can just hit that sweet spot between Specs and Price (especially for midrange)…ruling would just be a matter of when and not if.

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