Nokia at MWC 2018 showcases its plan to rule the smartphone market, again!

HMD's Nokia showcase at MWC2018

In the year 2016 when Nokia announced its comeback, many thought that the HMD Global Nokia will soon fall back due to the domination of renowned brands like Samsung and Apple in the premium segment and Chinese brands like Samsung Huawei and Xiaomi in the mid and budget range Smartphone segment. All the odds were against the company as the Nokia Lumia and Microsoft partnership failed to create any dent in the smartphone segment.

But, the company surprised everyone and didn’t fell apart this time. The company fought against all the odds and as per a recently released report by market research firm Counterpoint, Nokia alone managed to shift more smartphones in the fourth Quarter of the last year, than the sales of market players like HTC, Sony, Google, Lenovo and even OnePlus. Also, Nokia’s MWC 2018 showcase suggests that company is back with a huge lineup and this time is looking forward to making a bigger presence in the smartphone segment- they’re ready to own it.

Currently, HMD Global, a Finland based company holds the license to build and sell Nokia-branded smartphones. HMD acquired the Nokia in the year 2016 and the company hasn’t seen back since then. The smartphones are designed and manufactured in part by Foxconn,i.e., the smartphones are still made in China, based and inspired by Finnish ideas.

As per a combined report from Counterpoint and IDC obtained by NokiaMob, it gives us a clear hint that from the “Other” smartphone category to renowned “Nokia”- it is already taking up 1 percent in just a year of being relaunched, the company shipped out an estimated 8.7 million units by the end of Q4 2017- that’s some good stats.

In the pre-iPhone era or back in the early 2000s, Nokia was the market leader with no or very little competition from the semi-smartphone makers like LG and Samsung, until Apple made a revolutionary move and took the world by storm. Though, Nokia tried to meet the expectations at a hardware level but failed to cope up with the latest software innovation and trends like Android and iOS. The company’s move to opt for Symbian OS deal for good old Communicator series along with flip or camera-centric phones was never a wise move.Gradually, the company made two big mistakes in the post iPhone launch period. Firstly, it tried to skip the evolution of its mobile software and secondly, the company failed to make a compact phone meeting with all the users’ requirements as it always launched phones that were purpose-built. For example, the E series for business, N series for multimedia- which slowly turned out to be a contributing factor for its downfall.

Did you ever watch Apple’s iPhone first launch event? Steve Jobs showed up on stage with an iPhone- Apple’s one of the most revolutionary innovation and highlighted the phone as a device that is composed of the combined experience of a music player(its iPod), a desktop-like web accessibility through a web browser and a beautifully crafted smartphone at the first place that could place calls, run multimedia applications- in short a complete package with slim and redefined design which did not need buttons. Only a finger required to navigate between screens. And rest is all history!

Coming back to the present, since the company made its comeback, the number of phone launch events and range of recent series introduced at MWC2018 suggests that company is ready to make a bigger move. The company is trying to blend the nostalgia with the return of Nokia 3310 last year to recently announced Nokia 8110( the Matrix phone) and trying to stand with the latest smartphones trend which is evident from the conversion of premium 8800 Sirocco to Nokia 8 Sirocco.

The whole range of products showcased by the company suggests that company is ready with a well-diversified line up across different price segments. For an instance,  8110 (aka banana phone) priced at €76 and the Nokia 8 Sirocco priced at a premium €799 – a complete range in between.

Tarun Pathak of Counterpoint research said that Nokia is doing good by building its strength with solid unique design and durable smartphones. He further added that the company’s strong partnership with Google is a plus point, ensuring the latest Android experience with Android One and Android Go.

It is quite evident that Nokia is using its big “Nostalgia” trump card, by reminding existing fans and new customers about the company’s focus on design (Sirocco+8110) teamed up with the durability of 3310- an expected masterpiece. A complete change to the monotonous rectangular displays which were prevalent before the iPhones rolled out in the market.

Even Navkendar Singh, IDC India made a statement that the nostalgia trump card added to durability plays well with Nokia’s feature phone lineup.

Seeing the potential in Indian smartphone market, the feature phone market is here to stay for quite too long. The availability of affordable devices, the timely innovation and upgradations, the comfort of using a touchscreen and the monthly expenditure adds to one of the reasons.

HMD’s Nokia global success is like a case study for every pantomath looking into the smartphone and technology space. It is a lesson that is essential for every developer in the industry, remember that one needs to keep innovating both at a hardware and a software level but not forget its root- its specialty as a brand identity.

There is an assumption on the basis of latest announcements at the Mobile World Congress 2018, the Chinese manufacturer Lenovo seems to have taken an interest just like HMD with the CEO dropping clues around a possible comeback of the much-liked Moto RAZR smartphone, this time not just with a flip phone form factor but with a modern age folding display as well- something exciting!

Though Nokia at the moment enjoys the broader brand appeal- a major contribution via its Nostalgia trump card attached but that won’t keep them in the race for too long. The company needs to change with the latest trends and look for innovations from lowest to the highest level in the smartphone- if they want to meet the demands of the people and grab a stronger grip in the smartphone segment. This is the only strategy that is going to solve the company’s problem and solution to its every question! There was a news that the company has brought back the Pro/Professional Mode from the Nokia 1080 PureView smartphone and it focuses on its Zeiss Optics technology on the Nokia 8 Sirocco. There is a lot of expectations from the camera quality of this phone as that spark was missing in Nokia 8 and if the company has to sustain in this segment without any loss, then they have to opt for something better.

As per the leaks and rumors, Nokia is up to something big!

If the recent leaks and rumors are to be believed, Nokia is soon set to make a comeback with a bang. A perfect delight for Shutterbugs as Nokia is looking forward to coming with a Penta-lens camera setup.But the biggest question: Is really a Penta-lens camera setup with Zeiss branding enough to attract the buyers to switch to Nokia?

Now that is something challenging as it is too difficult for any third brand to enter the super-premium segment and make a mark. But one should not forget that “Nokia” has too much to offer with the name itself!

Whatsoever the case is, it is quite evident and clear that Nokia-if focuses on innovation then the day is not far when it will be the leader in the smartphone market in the country!