Goodbye Nokia: HMD Global set to dump the Nokia smartphone brand


mobile phone brand

If you were a mobile phone user between the late 90s to early 00s, then Nokia was probably the phone you used. Even if you didnt use this device, a close ally probably did. Well, it appears that the history of Nokia phones is coming to an end. Back in 2016, HMD Global, a Finnish company founded by former Nokia executive Jean-Francois Baril bought the Nokia brand. Since then, all Nokia phones have been released under the ownership of HMD Global. However, in a new product preview video, HMD Global suggested thatĀ it would abandon the Nokia brand. Instead, the company will use its own brand to launch future mobile phones.

mobile phone brand

This video briefly introduces the meaning of the Human Mobile Devices brand and previews upcoming smartphones, wireless headsets and tablets, all using the HMD brand.Ā It is worth mentioning that the video also previews a new version of the Nokia 3310 feature phone that supports 5G. However, this new version does not use the Nokia brand but the new HMD brand.

According to reports, the first mobile phone to launch under HMD’s new brand will come with a 108MP OIS camera. There are also speculations that this device will be unveiled at theĀ Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona from February 26 to 29, 2024.

In addition, HMD Global has heavily discounted most existing Nokia smartphones and tablets on its official website. Some models are even going as low as near-clearance prices (the Nokia G100, for example, is currently selling for $139.99 at Best Buy). All signs point to HMD Global working on a product line refresh.

What will happen to the Nokia brand?

If HMD Global floats a new brand, will the Nokia brand become dormant? This is a question that will run through the minds of many Nokia fans. While there is no direct answer to this question at the moment, there is a clue about what HMD will do with the Nokia brand. At the moment, HMD Globalā€™s official website still says

ā€œWe are the manufacturer of Nokia mobile phonesā€

This most likely suggests that the company will continue to provide Nokia-branded feature phones in the future. However, its smartphones will probably be launched using the new brand. In the preview video, a smartphone had the letters “HMD” on the rear. However, it did not show any feature phone with the same logo. This suggests that the new HMD brand will be for smartphones.

mobile phone brand

The video, however, hints that the HMD brand will take some old-time classics like the Nokia 3310. The company said in the video

“…meanwhile, we are taking some old-time classics, adding more than features and refreshing their design to bring you new stylish phones”

To watch the preview video from HMD Global, click here

Potential risks and benefits of HMD Global’s decision

HMD Global’s decision to abandon the Nokia brand could pose several potential risks. Below are some of the potential risks

  1. The Nokia brand, with over 150 years of heritage, has been associated with honesty, empathy, and high integrity. By moving away from this well-established brand, HMD Global may lose the trust and loyalty of consumers. This is mostly true for consumers who have a strong connection to the Nokia name.
  2. The decline of the Nokia brand in the mobile industry has been evident. There has been a reduction in the product line and a decline in market share. This could lead to a loss of market position and competitiveness for HMD Global in the smartphone market.
  3. Nokia’s brand has a strong legacy and recognition, and abandoning it may result in the loss of a differentiated and authentic identity that the brand has built over the years. This could make it challenging for HMD Global to create a unique and compelling value proposition for its products.

Potential benefits

HMD Global’s decision to abandon the Nokia brand could have several potential benefits. Some potential benefits are listed below

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  1. The Nokia brand has faced challenges in the mobile industry, with a decline in market share and a perception of being associated with cheap phones. By moving away from the Nokia brand, HMD Global may have the opportunity to reposition itself and its products in the market.
  2. The company would have more flexibility in terms of branding and marketing, potentially allowing it to create a new identity and differentiate its products more effectively.
  3. HMD Global’s exclusive access to a prominent global sales and distribution network, as well as world-leading device manufacturing and engineering capabilities, could be leveraged more effectively under a new brand or identity.
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History of Nokia

Nokia, a Finnish multinational corporation, has a rich and diverse history that spans over 150 years. It was founded in 1865 as a single paper mill operation and later expanded into various industries, including rubber, cables, electronics, and telecommunications. In 1967, the Nokia Corporation was formed through the merger of three companies, marking a significant turning point in its history. The late 20th century saw Nokia’s emergence as a key player in the mobile phone market, achieving significant milestones and becoming a world leader in the industry.

Despite its success, Nokia faced challenges in the mobile phone market, leading to changes in its business arrangements. In 2014, Nokia’s handset business was acquired by Microsoft, marking a significant transition for the company.Ā The history of Nokia reflects its resilience and ability to adapt to changing market dynamics. From its origins in the paper industry to its evolution into a global telecommunications and consumer electronics company, Nokia has undergone several transformations. The brand’s enduring legacy and contributions to the mobile phone industry continue to be part of its storied history.

mobile phone brand

HMD’s take over

Despite its acquisition by Microsoft in 2014, Nokia still struggled and this led to various changes in ownership. These changes include HMD Global buying off the mobile phone business and Foxconn taking over its plant. The company has exclusive rights to the Nokia brand for mobile phones through a licensing agreement. HMD Global began marketing Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones in 2016 and has since been revamping the Nokia brand.

HMD Global’s performance with the Nokia brand has been notable. The company reintroduced iconic devices and a range of Nokia smartphones on the Android platform, establishing imaging, software, and manufacturing partnerships with industry leaders. In the first half of 2017, 1.5 million Nokia smartphones were sold, marking a significant increase from the previous year. HMD Global also became the best-selling mobile phone vendor overall in Vietnam and most Middle Eastern countries in Q4 2017, and the no. 1 feature phone vendor worldwide. In Q3 2018, it had the biggest year-on-year sales growth of 71% to 4.8 million units shipped that quarter, making it the 9th largest smartphone vendor worldwide.

The company’s commitment to reliability, durability, and distinct design has been well-received by consumers, contributing to its success. Also, HMD Global has expanded its presence, with 345,000 retail outlets across eight regions and a strong commitment to sustainability, as evidenced by its Platinum status awarded by the sustainability rating agency EcoVadis in 2022.

Conclusion

In a significant shift, HMD Global hinted at abandoning the iconic Nokia brand in favour of its own. The move, showcased in a recent product preview video, signals a new era for the company’s mobile devices. This includes smartphones, headsets, and tablets. Notably, the upcoming Nokia 3310, featuring 5G support, will be released under the HMD brand. Amidst speculations, HMD’s debut device under its new brand is anticipated to sport a groundbreaking 108MP OIS camera. Possibly, the device will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress. While HMD’s commitment to Nokia feature phones remains, the transition underscores a bold strategic shift in the company’s mobile identity, marking the end of an era in Nokia’s illustrious history.

Author Bio

Efe Udin is a seasoned tech writer with over seven years of experience. He covers a wide range of topics in the tech industry from industry politics to mobile phone performance. From mobile phones to tablets, Efe has also kept a keen eye on the latest advancements and trends. He provides insightful analysis and reviews to inform and educate readers. Efe is very passionate about tech and covers interesting stories as well as offers solutions where possible.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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