HMD Global’s Nokia is the #11 smartphone brand globally

HMD Global and Nokia

Last year Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, tweeted the completion of one year of the company handling the Nokia brand.

Around the same time Neil Shah, a partner at Counterpoint, an industry analysis firm based in Hong Kong, published a series of tweets mentioning the growth of the brand over the past year. He also mentioned that these figures were from latest Counterpoint numbers.

HMD Global has been selling devices with the Nokia branding for more than a year now and things are looking really good for the brand. In the last quarter of 2017, Nokia sold more smartphones than brands such as HTC, Google, OnePlus and Sony. The tweet below by Shah shows more of the same.

Let’s not forget that Nokia consists of smartphones as well as feature phones. Nokia is the number-one brand when it comes to feature phones, with 20.7 million units sold in the last three months of 2017.

With smartphone and feature phone totals combined, HMD Global takes the number six spot in the mobile industry. That’s a 5 per cent share of the total mobile market.

HMD Global and Nokia: A success story

All this is incredible considering that the brand (in technicality) is only a year old. HMD Global got the rights to sell Nokia-branded devices in 2016, right after Microsoft let go of the brand. The company clearly knew what it was getting into because in a few months after that we saw the launch of its first Nokia-branded devices.

HMD Global bring back the 3310
HMD Global brought back the 3310

At MWC 2017 in Barcelona, the company created a stir with the launch of the Nokia 3,5, 6 and the 2017 edition of the classic 3310. HMD slammed the mid-range segment with feature-packed and well-priced devices. Next, it did the same thing with the Nokia 8, which launched with flagship specs and pricing that made even OnePlus shudder.

HMD Global and Nokia: What’s behind the success? 

From where I stand, I see two main reasons for the success of the Nokia brand.

Brand Loyalty

Nokia is a name that reminds a lot of people of a simpler time. A time when phones were similar functionally but had a uniqueness to them thanks to their different bodies. Nokia phones were of all colours, shapes and sizes. They were the entry into the world of mobile technology for an immense part of the market. That sentiment has become quite useful for HMD Global. It now has something all other brands take years to develop: trust.

Keeping promises

One piece of credit I need to give HMD Global is for having kept promises. When the company launched Nokia-branded smartphones, it promised quality products at reasonable prices with regular updates.

The 2017 devices show that it’s definitely kept up the first part of that promise. Here’s the second thing I give them credit for. If you’re an Android user, you know the plight of having to wait on updates to the OS. Nokia has not just been regular but up-to-date with everything Google has to offer.

For example, early December Google device-users started receiving Android 8.1 on their devices. The Nokia 8 already has it as of yesterday. This in a time when devices are still not coming with Android 8.0 Oreo and if they do there’s no sign of an update.

HMD Global and Nokia: What’s to come? 

There’s a lot more to come for both the brand as well as the company but for now everyone has their eyes on the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There are rumours of updated mid-range devices as well a possible flagship from the company.