HMD to Expand its Nokia Phone Portfolio

Posted on May 21, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware with 37 Comments

HMD to Expand its Nokia Phone Portfolio

HMD announced today that it will “aggressively expand its portfolio of Nokia smartphones” in 2018, thanks in part to an additional $100 million in financing.

“We are thrilled to have these investors join us in our journey to script the next chapter of Nokia phones,” HMD CEO Florian Seiche said in a prepared statement. “It is our ambition to deliver great smartphones that delight our fans while staying true to our Finnish roots and the hallmarks that the Nokia brand has always been known for. We aim to be among the top smartphone players globally and our success to date gives us the confidence to further continue on a growth path in 2018 and beyond.”

HMD was formed in December 2016 and it posted a $77 million loss on revenues of $2.13 billion for the year. But its momentum is undeniable: HMD shipped (not necessarily sold) an incredible 70 million Nokia-branded phones in 2017 alone. And during that first year, it scaled its operations from availability in 80 countries to over 170 today. HMD today sells 16 Nokia-branded handsets and smartphones. And it has established itself as the “lead global partner” for Google’s Android One program.

The ongoing popularity of the Nokia brand, especially in key countries in Western Europe and Asia, and in developing countries, is key to HMD’s success. Nokia is somehow the fourth most popular smartphone by sales in the UK, behind only Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. And at Mobile World Congress this year, it said its goal was to be the third biggest smartphone maker worldwide.

You never know: Without the weight of the old Nokia’s operations weighing on it, HMD can push forward more nimbly. And from what I can see, its existing devices have been very well received.


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Comments (37)

37 responses to “HMD to Expand its Nokia Phone Portfolio”

  1. Bats

    Nokia is a popular again? Ouch. Ouch for Microsoft. I was right back then, when Nokia phones with Windows Phone OS, were only being bought because the people thought that they were getting a genuine Nokia phone. When they realized they didn't they all bailed. Now that Nokia phones are back, now running Android, they're popular again!

    Like I said....OUCH!

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Bats:

      But HMD is still losing money. People may love the Nokia brand, but they don't seem to want to pay enough to make the brand secure for the long haul.

      • rameshthanikodi

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Accounting is different these days. They don't look at loss-making operations as a lost cause. Everyone looks at stuff like "run rate" and project.

      • aThingOrTwo

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        A €65m loss on €1.8bn revenue in the first full year is not bad. It is not inconceivable they will turn that into a profit by the second full year. Especially as retailers and carriers now know that if they buy Nokia phones from HMD they will sell.

        • feedtheshark

          In reply to aThingOrTwo:

          Exactly, it takes time to build up again. They've approached it smartly, testing the waters before launching in more countries and with more devices.

          They are nice, but still a bit generic devices though. I'd love to see some more differentiation in their design. Where's the polycarbonate & colour? Something to make them stand out and feel more personal. Where's the 42MP photography flagship? That crown has been taken by Huawei with their P20 Pro (which I have & love the photos). What is really NOKIA about them other than the name?

          And after 2 years with Android I still miss Windows Phone, so much better an OS; such a shame that the world just hates Microsoft and didn't give it a chance.

          • Bill Russell

            In reply to feedtheshark:

            Its probably because the carriers didn't push an OS they couldn't modify like android. They were never crazy about iPhones but had no choice with their clout and didn't need another non modifiable OS. However "better" is a useless term. I personally didn't care for windows phone and Android is at minimum a good, solid OS for the masses - just like Windows on PCs was. It was never because it was "the best" OS.

            Why don't you try iPhone then? At this point only those religously opposed to Apple will not try them. You can get an iPhone SE for $129 on ebay and will still get two years of support. I love the small size - I've come full circle - phablets and back. I switch between that and a Pixel (say, every week), also $179 on ebay with probably two more years of support. Even on this original Pixel the camera is awesome.

            My problem is when I use a 5+ inch phone I tend to want to use it all the time. When I use the SE, its so small I don't want to use it much and I go to the iPad for more "quality consumption time", less often.

          • Andi

            In reply to feedtheshark:

            That Nokia is long gone. This one is a Chinese company that licensed the Nokia name the same way TCL licensed the Blackberry brand. It has nothing to do with Nokia the actual company that offloaded the phone making arm to MS. MS in turn dissolved it and all the main figures behind the design, pureview cameras, etc. are at other companies.

            Edit: The posters below me have corrected me. The design company is indeed a Finnish company but the manufacturer is Foxconn. Nokia used to assemble its own devices.

            • FullThrottle

              In reply to Andi:

              Where is this Chinese company myth coming from? HMD, which was formed by former Nokia and MS employees in Helsinki, Finland, designs the phones while FIH (Foxconn) manufactures them. Each phone released has to be approved by Nokia and their HQ is literally across the street from Nokia's.

            • mhberglund

              In reply to Andi:

              Hi Andi,

              HMD Global is in fact a Finnish company.


    • yangstax

      The first batch of Nokia X6 was sold out in 10 seconds in China yesterday as an early indication.In reply to Bats:

  2. Paul O'Flaherty

    I've been pleasantly surprised by my Nokia 8 (came from a 950XL). I wanted a phone with a relatively clean OS that would get timely updates, with high end specs, front-facing fingerprint sensor, headphone socket and no curved edge display (worried about fragility). That the phone was cheaper than most of the competition also helped. Would definitely recommend Nokia based on my experience with the 8 and will likely buy another Nokia when upgrade time comes around again.

  3. rameshthanikodi

    Quite surprised that they've been able to stand out in a crowded market, but it really does speak to users feel about existing OEMs servicing the market. Moto was once a darling of good midrange phones but under Lenovo's leadership they seemed to have lost the spark. OnePlus seems to have also dropped the ball on software lately. HMD's Nokia on the other hand is hungry for success.

  4. SvenJ

    First Fi capable phone Nokia makes, I'm buying it. Google could do worse to have HMD/Nokia make a Pixel. Thinking about a Pixel Sirocco makes me drool.

  5. UbelhorJ

    When it's time to upgrade my current phone, it's going to be hard choice between OnePlus and Nokia.

  6. Rcandelori

    So they are still losing money. However they have had a steady stream of releases. Microsoft basically gave up by the end and stopped releasing devices.

  7. TechnologyTemperance

    I have a Nokia 6.1 and really like it. Solid mid-range phone and a sub-300 price point.

  8. jdmp10

    As I understand it, HMD designs the hardware and software, not Foxconn who manufacturers the devices. Essentially the agreement is very similar to Apple but Apple does also design the SoC and a few other internals but same could be said of HMD's renewed relationship with Zeiss.

    I'm happy that they are getting some traction in a very saturated market. The Nokia name still carries a good deal of attention versus a startup with no name similar to the countless domestic Chinese OEMs that are iPhone clones.

    I wish the hardware would be a bit more unique though. It doesn't look much different than one of those generic no-name Chinese brands.

  9. Jorge Garcia

    It is looking more and more like my next phone will be a Nokia.

  10. johnh3

    HMD Global is a Finnish company with the HQ in Helsinki. But China is of course important for them. They just announced that they open a research center in Chenzen, China at the event for Nokia X6. That will focus on camera technology and some other areas, new materials and so on.

    So I think we will see many more interesting Nokia phones in the future. So the coming years I think Samsung and Huawei will feel the pressure especially in Asian and the european market.

    • Boris Zakharin

      In reply to johnh3:

      I really wanted to get a Nokia 6 last year, but couldn't justify paying $50 extra for the same features as a Moto G5+. We'll see the evolution in specs and pricing over the next 18-24 months.

  11. Tony Barrett

    Right now, my next phone very well could be a Nokia. They're sounding serious, making the right noises, and so far at least, producing very good looking handsets. If they can just make sure they don't slip and make promises they can't keep, Nokia could be a force to be reckoned with again.

  12. peterh_oz

    I have always had Nokia, except for a fleeting use of an HTC back in the Android 2.x days. And that includes the Microsoft branded Nokia Lumia 830 and the Microsoft non Nokia branded 940XL, which was a Nokia without their logo. Now using the Nokia 6, which is a Lumia without the Microsoft logo. Nokia, its SO good to have you back! Now if only there was a way to make Android usable! Thank you for releasiing updates quickly, and without all the usual carrier guff in the software. Puure is best, and Nokia is Pure!

  13. jimchamplin

    If they're cheap enough, I'd love to use my AT&T upgrade to get an iPhone Plus or X (or whatever they have this December) AND get an Android phone, but I'll only accept ones that have been proven to get years worth of updates.

    But that would require a VERY cheap phone.

    If a brand hasn't given updates for their entire existance, then they do not deserve my attention. If I purchase a device, I WILL receive updates the entire time I own it. Anything less is FRAUD.

    There might be a reason I don't own an Android phone.

    Yes, that reason is the cheap shittiness of the OEMs regarding updates. The purchasers of their hardware DESERVE every update. The OEMS think otherwise. Until they fix their brains, they deserve to fail!

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      My Nokia 5 (released February 17) has been getting regular security updates and has gone from 7 to 8.0 and just recently 8.1 (and somehow 8.1 actually improved the phone's performance).

      They guarantee at least 2 years of updates. I don't think you can expect updates forever. Not even Apple does that.

    • Jedi Dwight

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      I agree, the press should keep beating the drum of continuous Android OS and security updates. PC (Windows) users (95% of the computer market) have expected this for years now.

    • peterh_oz

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Nokia release updates, and they do them quickly. They don't have carriers' guff on them, it is Pure Android. The Nokias are inexpensive. Not "cheap", which is good. But check the various models. If you're used to a high end phone, don't compare to a $300 Nokia 5, compare to the Nokia 8 or similar. Still less expensive than the comparable Samsung or Apple. And with Zeiss Glass for the camera lens. You also don't need a full case, a simple but effective gel rear case does the job and keeps the front glass from touching surfaces, even if you drop the phone. Nokia was the biggest phone maker in the world for a reason. Yes they missed the advent of the smartphone, but they're back!

  14. petteri

    They may take the crown for affordable "premium" phones away from OnePlus. They are certainly on the right track software wise. Now just push out a dual sim, Snapdragon 845 and a headphone jack. Hope they don't lose the plot.

  15. Bart

    Bought the Nokia 7 plus to see what it is like and am very impressed. I am not going to make it my daily driver, that is still the iPhone 8. But it is a great device nonetheless, especially in its price class. Can easily recommend it

  16. ozaz

    Its great they’ve adopted the Android One program. Makes them so much more appealing. Nokia 6 2018 and Nokia 7 Plus seem great budget and midrange options for those who value pure Android and regular updates.

    Next I’d like them to release an Android One budget flagship (OnePlus pricing) with a leading camera for that price point.

    • Omen_20

      In reply to ozaz:

      I really wish they'd give US AT&T/T-Mobile the full options that the international version gets. From what I can tell, 4GB/64GB 6.1 isn't available, and no 7 Plus is at all for AT&T/T-Mobile.

  17. NoFlames

    I am loving my Nokia 6.1 as a replacement for the 950. Great price and great construction for a mid level device

  18. Jules Wombat

    The Nokia Branding is critical global brand, and most of those Nokia engineers Microsoft (Satya) laid off simply went up the road to work for HMD, and continue creating great phones. Microsoft simply didn't appreciate Nokia engineering, so more full them.

    I rather dislike using Android (required for development purposes) but the Nokia devices implement a pretty clean and tolerable version of Android at great value points.