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Two years on: HMD Global talks about what Nokia has achieved and what's coming soon

It's been a little under two years since HMD Global brought the Nokia smartphone brand back to life.

Published onDecember 7, 2018

  • It’s been a little under two years since HMD Global brought the Nokia smartphone brand back to life.
  • The company recently had a surprisingly-frank discussion about what it’s achieved so far — and what’s coming up next.
  • One of the more remarkable stats is that HMD Global has sold 70 million Nokia-branded phones in the past two years.

In early 2017, HMD Global released the Nokia 6, the first Nokia-branded smartphone from the company after it bought the rights for the brand shortly prior. Since the launch of the Nokia 6, HMD Global has released many other Nokia phones — and has successfully revived the brand.

Nokia 8.1 specs
Nokia 8.1

Recently, Britta Gerbracht — the new German marketing chief at HMD Global — attended a press conference to discuss the recently-released Nokia 8.1, via WinFuture. During the conference, Gerbacht was surprisingly open about what HMD has achieved with the Nokia brand thus far, and what the company has planned for the future.

We’ve compiled the juiciest tidbits discussed at the conference below:

  • Since 2017, HMD Global has sold 70 million Nokia-branded phones. That’s a huge number and represents a terrific success on HMD Global’s part. However, keep in mind that number includes feature phones as well as smartphones. HMD Global was not clear on how many smartphones make up that 70 million number.
  • The majority of Nokia phone buyers are over 35 years old, male, and previously purchased Nokia-branded phones before HMD Global took over the brand. The average Nokia phone buyer also holds on to the phone for longer than most other buyers do with most other brands. HMD Global points to the company’s strong connection with Google and the Android One program as a possible reason for that last statistic.
  • Cheaper Nokia devices are what bring home the bacon. The Nokia 6.1 is the best-seller over the past two years, for example. Its starting retail price is $269.
  • Flagships aren’t doing as well as HMD Global would have hoped. Cheaper devices are doing well, but high-end flagships bearing the Nokia brand aren’t. The Nokia 8 Sirocco, for example, was a sales disappointment for HMD Global.
  • Colorful is out, simple is in. According to Gerbracht, devices in blacks, blues, and silvers are selling better than devices that come in colorful tones. As such, expect a lot more “basic” colors for Nokia phones in 2019.
  • There will be no Nokia 9 this year. The long-awaited Nokia 9 flagship is still in development and won’t launch in 2018. This isn’t too surprising, as there are only a few weeks left.
  • There will be “.2” models soon and could go even higher. The “.1” phones — such as the recently-launched Nokia 8.1 — will continue, but with higher numbers. In other words, look forward to Nokia 8.2, Nokia 6.4, etc. (as if it wasn’t confusing enough already).
  • No gaming smartphone in the works. Although there have been a few gaming-centric phones launched in 2018, Nokia isn’t planning to get in on the trend, instead focusing on making their “regular” devices as fit for gaming as possible, while avoiding the “gaming” title.
  • No “retro” phones are planned for now. HMD Global made headlines a few times by launching “new” versions of retro phones, like the Nokia 3310 revival. There are no more of these kinds of phones in the pipeline, at least for now.

This is a lot of information, especially when you consider this was supposed to be a press conference just about the Nokia 8.1. It’s refreshing to see a smartphone company dish out this much info without dancing around stats or brushing off press questions.

What do you think? Are you excited for the future of HMD Global? Do you plan to buy a Nokia phone in 2019? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: Nokia 8.1 is official: HMD Global’s new mid-ranger

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