After making a comeback 7 years ago, the Nokia smartphone brand is speculated to suffer its second death. This comes after HMD Global announced several months ago that it will introduce its very own mobile brand called HMD.
A few days ago, the Finnish company’s VP for India and APAC, Ravi Kunwar, posted on LinkedIn introducing HMD and said the company is finally moving away from being a brand licensee to a brand owner. Many saw this as a sign that the brand could be abandoning the Nokia brand altogether.
Are Nokia phones dead? Not so fast
According to The Hindu, HMD Global has refuted the claims and has issued the following statement:
You will continue to see new Nokia phones. True to our values, HMD will continue to design more sustainable and affordable phones- our repairability, sustainability and digital detox products are landing incredibly well amongst consumer and business audiences alike and we are excited to build on that momentum with the new HMD brand.HMD Global
HMD Global said it would move forward with a new multi-brand strategy where it would produce devices under a new HMD Originals brand name alongside Nokia. The company also revealed that it will update its channels from “Nokia Mobile” to “HMD” as part of its multi-brand strategy. Besides a new range of HMD Originals alongside Nokia phones, consumers can look forward to new exciting products from new partnerships this year.
What is HMD?
As shared by HMD Global Oy Chairman and CEO Jean-Francois Baril, the company is now known as “Human Mobile Devices” or HMD for short. In their latest corporate video, the brand emphasises on making more sustainable devices that are easier to fix at home.
On top of that, they will continue to make “classic” phones with modern features and refreshed designs. HMD describes these devices as “new-stalgic dumbphones” which bring out the best of old and new.
In a new video published less than 24 hours ago, HMD continues to emphasise that they are still the Makers of Nokia phones which are durable, repairable and long-lasting. Instead of the usual Nokia phone site, users are now directed to the new HMD website.
Since its establishment, HMD says they have sold 400 million devices as of 2023 with an active presence in 200 countries. It also claimed to be the second largest when it comes to feature phones in 2023.
Although the brand was resurrected with a couple of rebooted feature phones, Nokia’s Android smartphones have not been making much of a splash in Malaysia. Their devices are not particularly affordable and they are simply outpriced by better-value alternatives including Xiaomi, Realme and even established brands like Samsung. The new Nokia feature phones may generate a lot of conversations online, but consumers could easily get a budget Android smartphone for the same price which offers a bigger screen, better camera and access to the Google Play Store.
The new crop of Nokia branded phones stood out for having stock Android experiences without bloatware and they promise long-lasting software updates. However, HMD Global has failed on its promises, especially for its supposed flagship, the Nokia 9 Pureview. At the moment, most smartphone makers have been pushing for longer software support with up to 7 generations of OS and 7 years of security updates.
Perhaps with HMD’s new brand, there could be a possibility of them offering competitively priced products which don’t require any licensing fees with Nokia. In a very saturated smartphone market, HMD Global needs to do more than just banking on nostalgia.