HMD Global, new owners of Nokia brands, has announced three new additions to the Nokia smartphone portfolio, the Nokia 1, Nokia 6 and Nokia 7 plus which will roll out in Kenya starting this month.
Alongside HMD’s big bet on reviving the legendary brand with a new wave of handsets, the Finnish phone maker says that it is focusing on expanding their product range and deepening its retail presence across Africa.
The company, once a dominant player in the global market began to see a downfall sometime back around 2012 due to its slow response to changing trends in the mobile market.
“We have sold 70 million devices globally. We are already reaching 80 countries directly,” Joseph Umunakwe, General Manager, West, East and Central Africa, HMD Global.
Umunakwe points out that there are more than 1.3 billion feature phone users around the world, many from markets in Asia and Africa.
“As the value market leader in feature phones, we understand the barriers and challenges people face when it comes to the step up to a smartphone which is why we’ve made our most accessible smartphone ever,” he adds.
In a move that seeks to regain market leadership, Gopher Ogembo the Senior Business Manager, East Africa at HMD in an exclusive interview says that they expect to be among the top three smartphone players and top feature phone players by 2021.
As part of the firm’s strategy, Gopher says that they are bringing devices from different price points to cater for the much wider customer base, “We are introducing different flagships and constantly learning from the past and continue to improve as we give it a lot more efficiency compared to the previous devices making it better for consumer experience.”
The company’s core strategy to remain competitive in the smartphone market is firming partnerships with the best in the market as they seek to capitalize on their comeback over the past year sales, which he notes have been encouraging.
“We have had unique partnerships for product quality and durability with the best in the industry among them Nokia, Google, Zeiis – lens and imaging technology, Bharti Airtel – Telco provider, foxconn – manufacturer of Nokia devices and several partners including online retailers who help us bring new innovations to the devices,” he says.
“Part of our philosophy is about durability,” he reveals, stating that new smartphones are built from a single block of aluminum taking over 11 hours for every single device, which will take the users more than 10 years before they are replaced.
While he declined to comment on regional sales, Ogembo says that global sales recorded at 8 million smartphone units in 2017, closing the year with at least 1 per cent of the global market share.
According to Counterpoint Research – the mobile phone market tracker, Nokia phones sales increased during 2017 to become the world’s No. 1 seller of low-cost feature phones and came to the 11th place in smartphones after only entering the market last year. Nokia now ranks as the No. 6 mobile phone seller globally.
HMD’s strategy is to use distribution partnerships with 600 global top mobile operators and retailers in selected markets around the world to offer reliable, affordable products with the latest innovations.
All of Nokia Mobile’s smartphones are equipped with Stock Android based on Google’s Android One program. The program ensures that the phones will get the fastest software and security updates at regular intervals, it also comes with fewer pre-installed and much lighter apps on Android Oreo™ (Go edition), giving users’ two times more available storage out of the box compared with Android Nougat.
The smartphones come with no bloatware, skins, UI changes or unnecessary apps pre-loaded onto your phone, giving users a pure Android experience.
The Nokia 1 smartphone comes with the latest Android Oreo (Go edition) software with a new range of apps from Google designed to run faster while consuming fewer data.
The Android Oreo offers a smooth and responsive experience while making sure the device gets the latest security updates and features, including Google Play Protect, which continuously works to keep users’ device, data and apps safe. The device comes packaged with a quad-core processor, front and rear cameras, 4G connectivity and dual SIM.
The Nokia 1 will be available in retail stores in Warm Red and Dark Blue color across the country at an estimated price of USD 95 (KES 9,500.00.)
Nokia 7 plus
The Nokia 7 plus combines innovative imaging capabilities and powerful performance for up to two days with one charge.
The device comes with enhanced Dual-Sight, highly sensitive ZEISS optics and Pro Camera mode, the Nokia 7 plus capture images that are true to life, no matter the lighting.
Selected by Google to join the Android One family, the Nokia 7 plus offers a pure, secure and up to date Android experience.
It brings a great tactile feel and is comfortable to hold while elegantly hiding antenna lines. Precision machined from a single block of 6000 series aluminum, the Nokia 7 plus comes with anodised edges, contrasting with the body to add a stylish two-tone touch.
With 4GB of RAM, it is fast enough to take on those of us always doing two things at once. The high-contrast polarised screen delivers an outstanding viewing experience even in the brightest of conditions, so you can enjoy your favourite content wherever you are, the Nokia 7 plus delivers an amazing 2-day battery life.
One of its intuitive features is the optical hardware and imaging algorithms, spotting dual rear sensors with ZEISS optics combine an ultra-sensitive 12MP wide-angle primary camera for impressive performance in both low-light and extra bright conditions and a secondary 13MP sensor that delivers 2x optical zoom for the moments when you wish you were closer.
Available in Black/Copper the Nokia 7 plus is available for purchase from retail outlets across Kenya for USD 460 (KES 46,000.00.)
Building on the success of its predecessor, the new Nokia 6 packs even more powerful and new features into a more compact, durable body, which, according to the maker is over 60 per cent faster than its award-winning predecessor.
In addition, it offers enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo, the new Nokia 6 has been selected by Google to join the Android One family.
Taking the original’s precision artisanship to the next level, the new Nokia 6 combines a unibody, made from a solid block of 6000 series aluminum, with an 11-hour two-tone anodising and polishing process.
And by uniting a sculpted 2.5D display with damage-resistant Glass, the new Nokia 6’s compact and refined body is designed to stay beautiful for longer. The device is available in Black/Copper for USD 290 (KES 29,000.00.)