Sunday, February 18, 2018
Nokia Continues Comeback from the Ashes
2/8/2018 5:09:09 PM
Arthur J. Villasanta - Fourth Estate Contributor

Espoo, Finland (4E) - Nokia, which in its heyday from 1998 to 2012 was the world's leading mobile phone brand, continues to rise from the ashes and accounted for 1% of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Now owned by Finnish firm HMD Global, Nokia shipped some 4.15 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to data from Counterpoint Research, a global industry analysis firm based in Hong Kong.

Nokia's Android phones are currently only available in China and in a limited number of Asian countries and in Europe. HMD Global shipped over 100,000 phones to China in the first quarter of 2017 and has continued to ramp-up its presence in China since then.

HMD shipped 1.4 million phones in the second quarter and doubled this total in the third quarter. In total, HMP shipped nearly 8.5 million smartphones to retailers in China and a few other select markets such as India in 2017. It's unclear how many of the shipped units were actually sold, however.

But based on shipments, Counterpoint estimates HMD took 1% of the global smartphone market in Q4 2017. Counterpoint noted that Nokia has gained commercial momentum around the world.

It said Nokia's comeback, although tepid, can be attributed to the "sentimental value" of the Nokia smartphone brand. The market analytics firm believes HMD did well to diversify its portfolio relatively quickly and has models covering all device price points from the entry-level Nokia 3 to high-end flagship, Nokia 8.

HMD's strategy calls for developing price competitive phones offering a stress-free Android experience and coming with a guarantee of frequent software updates. The strategy has enabled Nokia to establish a solid foothold in a number of developing markets and in Europe.

HMD is expected to continue employing the same product strategy in 2018 and beyond. HMD is prepping the Nokia 6 (2018), an upper-mid-range smartphone, for a Western launch this year. Apart from the Nokia 6, HMD is also expected to launch an international version of the Nokia 7 (a mid-end phone) and a bezel-free Nokia 9 flagship about which not much is known.

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