An old tech brand from Finland is once again stepping up to reclaim its former stronghold. Sunday saw three brand new Nokia handsets unveiled under HMD Global. When it comes to handset makers, no other company bundles trust, durability and a bit of nostalgia quite like Nokia does.The Finnish comms tech giant has been out of the smartphone game for a while now. The firm has allowed Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to drive major parts of its former smartphone businesses. However, Nokia has no intention to stand aside and let others run away with what once was its leading business venture. Looking ahead, the Finnish tech major shows great promise of getting itself back into smartphones.
“In the coming years we believe we are going to be one of the top players in the smartphone market globally,” says the CEO of HMD Global, Arto Nummela. He was speaking to CNBC in an interview right before the launch. Three Nokia gadgets were unveiled at the Barcelona’s Mobile Word Congress. They were the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3, ranging respectively from flagship to entry range.
HMD Global comprised of a number of former Nokia executives. In 2016, the start-up successfully acquired the rights to produce Nokia smartphones. Following on its victory, the small firm subsequently produced its revamped take on Nokia handsets.
Nokia ditches Microsoft Lumia
Nokia’s return will not be without a few minor twists though. Reports suggest that the company’s next set of handsets will distinct themselves from the its homegrown Lumia range. Back in 2014, the Lumia line-up was sold off to the makers of the Windows OS. Nokia clearly felt as though Microsoft could make better work of its dwindling handset business than it could alone. However, it has been nearly three years since the Lumias were re-acquired and they still show no promise of getting off the ground.
Analysts could sight varying reason for the Microsoft Lumia lineup’s lackluster appeal on the phone market. However, perhaps its biggest deterrent for the is that it runs Windows. Though not without its share of fans, the mobile variant of the Windows OS has a difficult time pleasing the masses. It shares many of the traits that sent the BlackBerry mobile OS into irrelevancy. Windows Mobile is lax in regards to maintenance and its lack of apps renders it unable to keep up with leading smartphone makers.
Sluggish Windows OS
“I am an user of Nokia/MS Lumia phones for 4 years now,” explains a LearnBonds commenter. “No doubt the OS is very well-designed and stable, particularly Windows 10 to which I upgraded a few months back. But of late, I face problems when some of the apps I need to use for financial or banking transactions are either not available or have a poorly-designed version for WIndows platform compared to the same app for Android or IOS. Unless MS takes initiative to resolve this problem (by asking users to intimate their need and use their vast pool of programmers to assist in developing a good Windows equivalent), the day is not far off when I will reluctantly switch to an Android phone. It is all good to say that the new Surface phone will double as a desktop but I am not at least interested to do that.”
The commenter, who goes by Vijay, is not the only one with this kind of perception. There are others who have shared the same sentiments in more colorful tones. Clearly, Microsoft has a lot to work on if it chooses to release its next set of phones as a Windows Phones. Creating a holistic Windows ecosystem could do wonders for the platform, but there is little love for Windows as a mobile OS. The biggest challenge for the for the platform moving forward will be convincing users that Windows is no longer a sluggish, ill-maintained mobile operating system.
Nokia takes in Android
The fact that the revamped Nokia handsets no longer run Windows comes as no major shocker. Giving into to industry pressures, the devices have a much greater chance of scoring appeal as Android phones. However, the Android market is immensely competitive with Chinese players like Oppo and Vivo aggressively expanding. These firms also offer low-cost devices with the likes of Huawei growing at a rapid pace. Nummela said Nokia’s strong brand will help it win.
“There hasn’t been Nokia smartphone in the market for a while, still it’s one of the top preferences. And now when we combine Android, finally in Nokia, there is going to be an explosion in demand.”
Nokia aims to take on Huawei, Apple and Samsung in the premium smartphone space and its flagship device is priced considerably less than competitors. The Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 are set to launch in the second quarter of 2017. Click here for more details about the newly unveiled Nokias. Over 500 global retailers have jumped on board with the revived Nokia brand. Over 100 carrier partners have been secured by HDM worldwide as well.
What are your thoughts on Nokia’s smartphone comeback? Will the move see the tech firm attract masses back to the brand, or has the world moved onto better smartphone makers? LearnBonds is eager to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment below. You can also keep the conversation going by sharing this page on social platforms.