Nokia at MWC18


Although there is a lot of coverage of the Samsung Galaxy S9 one of the interesting spaces that has been vacated by Google and Apple is the well built mid-range mobile device.

Oneplus has a great phone in the mix but the recent scandal of credit cards being stolen from their online ordering system and the reluctance to update their devices quickly may present an opportunity for Nokia.

Nokia has joined the Android One programme and, looking away from the premium Nokia 8 Sirocco, the Nokia 7 Plus seems to fit the space that Google Nexus devices used to sit in. When you add in the completely stock Android implementation then it really represents some value in that space.

Nokia is certainly back from a European viewpoint. I think the Nokia 7 Plus is the most interesting of all their announcements.

Comments (13)

13 responses to “Nokia at MWC18”

  1. Brad Sams

    The nokia brand is back...they are really just like a westinghouse or kodak at this point.

    The android phone market is brutal right now, i wonder if these phones/branding will survive.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to brad-sams:

      There are a lot of ex-Nokia people at HMD Global. I think it's closer to HP/HPE than it is to totally unrelated company licenses a brand. It's just that they had to recreate the "HP" bit from scratch.

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to maethorechannen:

        That's not true.

        Yes, there are a handful of former Nokia employees working on HMD's Nokia-branded phones.

        But HP/HPE was split from a single company. The employees who were there day one were all from HP previously. And that was an enormous company, with tens of thousands of people going to each new company in the split.

        What Brad wrote is correct. Nokia (phones) today are just a licensed brand. The firm Jolla has as much street cred with regards to Nokia as this company does.

        • maethorechannen

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          Yes, it's a licensed use of the Nokia trademark. But I think lumping HMD in with the people who slap a Kodak logo on a powerbank is doing an analysis of the company and it's chances of success a disservice.

          If HMD/Nokia gets the Nokia brand back into the Global Top 5 (up from 11 if we're only looking at smartphones, up from 8 if it's all phones), is it really any different from being in a world where Nokia's management took a sanity pill and went with Android and then split the phone business off? It would still be a separate company, mostly run by people who were there when it was part of Nokia, using a licenced brand (just like MS when they bought the phone business), with the phones still being made by Foxconn after they bought the factories and taken a share of the company (the factories would have gone no matter what direction Nokia had taken, as they were nothing but deadweight). That's why I said it's closer to HP/HPE than Kodak - not in the road taken but in the destination.

          Oh, and Jolla would still exist in that AU, with the exact same set of ticked off N8 engineers.

    • rameshthanikodi

      In reply to brad-sams:

      HMD sold more Nokia android phones in the past year than Google, OnePlus, Sony, Lenovo (Moto) and HTC, so actually I think they're bucking market trends.

    • ponsaelius

      In reply to brad-sams:

      There is no guarantee of any brand surviving of course. I make a side observation as a European. Nokia is a brand that has huge global credibility over it's time. It's never really made it in the USA. I will leave Americans to analyse that one.

      What I see is a brand that came back from making no mobile phones at all having been bought to Microsoft to making a credible return in less than 12 months. Arguably it is selling better than when Microsoft released the Lumia 950/950XL as a Microsoft brand having had years to make Windowsphone successful.

      I think Android is a brutal place at present. However, all things considered, Nokia is making the right steps now in my view. Also, with the premium brands charging $800 - $1000, there is a place for quality mid-range models to take the space vacated by Google's Nexus brand.

  2. jimchamplin

    I'll give a shit if I can get a Nokia phone on AT&T Next.

  3. maethorechannen

    If you combine feature and smartphones together then they're already the #3 phone brand in the UK.

    I think they might on to something with the feature phones.

  4. arunphilip

    Agreed - while their comeback has been cautious, there haven't been any (major) missteps that I've seen.

    Nokia are definitely working on different fronts by having their range from the Nokia 1 (running Android Go) up to the Nokia 8/8 Sirocco, a range they have gradually grown over time.

    And with LG's mobile division on shaky ground, it would be good to have some competition to Samsung outside of China-origin manufacturers like Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi and OnePlus.

    Right now, I see Nokia as more than just the brand - apart from their HQ being in the Nokia campus, and having a lot of former Nokia execs, they are also picking up on their former strengths.

    All this makes one wonder what might have been if they hadn't made their disastrous - in hindsight - alliance with Microsoft, but instead pivoted to Android. Although, who knows, maybe that was just the bitter pill needed to make them realize that their needed to move beyond Symbian.

  5. wright_is

    It has been wall-to-wall Nokia coverage over here, especially the 8810 Banana phone.

  6. offTheRecord

    Actually, the new Nokia 6 caught my attention. It's specs are a notch below the Nokia 7 Plus (as one would expect), but most "non-power users" would probably find its performance to be quite acceptable. And, at an estimated price below $300, it's quite a bargain in this age of $1,000 phones.

    After much research, I temporarily went with a 2017 Moto G5 after my Nexus 5X caught the Bootloop illness last August. Since it was later in the year, the street price of the G5 was much lower than when first introduced. I got it for the equivalent of $150 in November (I used my old, but still perfectly functional, Nexus 4 until then). The G5 has decidedly low-end specs, but it was well-reviewed and I was quite surprised to find that in my normal daily use it performed just fine (much better than the Nexus 4, as you would expect) -- even with a Snapdragon 430 and only 2 GB of RAM. In most respects, it was no worse than the Nexus 5X (excepting the camera, of course), and in some respects even better. That really opened my eyes to how capable many of these lower-priced phones have become.

    This has me looking at "lower mid-range" phones at this point (at price points less than $350 -- I paid $279 for the 5X two years ago), and the new 2018 Nokia 6 looks like it might fit the bill just fine. It'll be interesting to see how it stacks up when it actually hits the streets.

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