Nokia maker HMD Global is withdrawing from the flagship race

Nokia 9 PureView press image

HMD Global, which licensed the Nokia brand in 2016, is swearing off flagship smartphones for the foreseeable future. The company's last truly high-end smartphone was the multi-camera Nokia 9 PureView in 2019. The model was also months late, and late last year the company backtracked on its promise to update the phone to Android 11.

Despite many rumours, a sequel is not yet in sight and it looks like there won't be one either. Speaking to Android Authority, Adam Ferguson, HMD's head of product marketing, openly admitted that making an $800 premium phone doesn't make sense for the company right now. He added that his company has no ambitions to engage in a specs war with other industry players, preferring to stand for something else entirely.

If you're wondering what that differentiator might be, then MWC 2022 had shown that the company is all about affordable 4G handsets. In mid-2018, Nokia was the 8th most popular smartphone maker in the world, but sales started falling soon after. At the moment it is the 11th largest provider in terms of revenue.

Recently, the situation has improved: the company reported that smartphone sales increased by 41 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year. The final quarter of 2021 was the most profitable quarter in HMD Global's history.

Still, the company believes it's best to focus on making feature phones and entry-level and mid-range phones that are durable and offer multi-day battery life.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Ferguson said the company wants to "get the basics right". The newly introduced smartphones are all about reliability.

"It's about getting those fundamentals right and building the value of Nokia in the minds of our users. We don't want to get involved in the specification arms race happening in the rest of the industry. If you want a few extra megapixels at this price, or a few extra bits for your screen's refresh rate, well I'm sure there's someone who can get it done for you. But what you really want is a device that you can rely on and that implements many of these fundamental principles in the best possible way. That's what we stand for and what we want to bring back to the market, and of course it's a huge credit to us that it's a big part of Nokia's heritage that's what it's all about."

Adam Ferguson, HMD Head of Product Marketing

Ferguson has also attributed recent impressive sales growth to this new strategy.

"They (the new phones) are less flashy and less exciting than some of what others are bringing out, but at the same time, this will be one of our distinct growth areas: people who are moving from cellphones to smartphones and want something that's really reliable. They're used to devices that are really durable and rugged with batteries that last for days, and we're making sure these devices offer that in the smartphone category too."

Adam Ferguson, HMD Head of Product Marketing

It's not the first time HMD Global has talked about exiting the premium race. Late last year, the company said that premium smartphones were out of reach and that it would mainly focus on phones in the $100-$200 range.

Android Authority

The post Nokia maker HMD Global withdraws from flagship race first appeared on xiaomist's blog .


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