HMD sold millions of #Nokia smartphones and 10s of millions of feature phones

Photo: Pocketlink

HMD’s Chief Marketing Officer Pekka Rantala gave an excellent interview for Italian Nokia (fan?) blog The interview is full of interesting statements that cover marketing plans, current devices, innovation, partners, and even sales. The interview is 17 minutes long and in English and you can watch it down below.


To quickly recap what Pekka said:

  • HMD introduced 9 products in 9 months of operation – 5 feature phones and 4 smartphones
  • Nokia 3, 5 and 6 were announced early because MWC was the best place to get the most publicity for the devices. The plan from start was to start shipping the Devices from June 2017, and so it was in the end. He also added that the timeframe between announcement and launch will be shorter in future, as seen with the Nokia 8
  • Till today, there was no need for marketing because the demand is “enormously strong”, and people are familiar with Nokia Products. Digital will be the primary platform, but with Nokia 8 they will target the customer base via other marketing methods as well. Translated, I would dare to say demand is far bigger than supply and there is no point in marketing the devices if they are already selling out quickly
  • HMD already sold millions of smartphones (Nokia 6 available since January in China, and 3, 5, 6 available globally since July/August), and 10s of millions of feature phones (Nokia-branded featurephone sale was 35 million units in 2016)
  • Former CEO Arto Nummela’s exit from the Company is a private matter between him and the board of directors
  • The Company is doing great

Mr. Rantala really gave a lot of data and it is nice to see an interview carried out by a Nokia blog that asked really good questions. He also added that the portfolio of devices will grow, but there will never be a Nokia 4, because it is a bad luck number in China. He also announced broader availability of the Nokia smartphones in future, and that HMD works together with Google, Nokia, and Foxconn on bringing “Pure, Secure, Up to date” and innovative devices to the market.

I really recommend watching the whole video because a lot is said in those 17 minutes.

Leave your thoughts about the interview in the comment section down below. 🙂


  • Maybe 8 is the last smartphone for this year.

  • Michael

    “Till today, there was no need for marketing because the demand is
    “enormously strong”, and people are familiar with Nokia Products.
    Digital will be the primary platform, but with Nokia 8 they will target
    the customer base via other marketing methods as well.Translated, I would dare to say demand is far bigger than supply and
    there is no point in marketing the devices if they are already selling
    out quickly”

    haha…you’d almost get the feeling that someone has been reading the comments here again. Either that or there is a general consensus among Nokia followers that HMD is dropping the ball with marketing. That is sort of *the* question right now isn’t it? Is HMD pretty much selling every phone they can make. If it is, is it because of “enormous demand”, or because of production problems.

    That’s great if HMD is selling close to every phone they can produce. If that is *really* the case (C?O’s never stretch the truth right?), then yes, spending marketing bucks won’t do you much good. Personally, I don’t really trust that C?O’s say unless they are giving proof. We don’t know their production rates, nor do we know what “Millions” is or “10s of millions” (If they only sold 2 million phones and that is all they can make…points to possible production/supply issues). We don’t know anything. Can’t get a simple yes or no from Nokia/HMD or their supposed Marketing providers like “Is Essence and Mindshare now handling your marketing and if so, when might we start seeing results”.

    Look, we all know that Nokia has a history of underestimating the competition and not being truthful with anyone as they were losing huge chunks of market share.

    My main gripe is in a country where I happen to have many years of visibility an where Nokia was by far the market leader for many years. I know what I see. I see 0 digital presence of the Nokia brand here (tweeting on the 29th doesn’t count). I see a very anonymous presence in stores that carry the phones. No one knows that Nokia is still alive and the younger generation doesn’t know this “respected brand” even exists or they feel it is “their parents phone”. I see 0 advertising in a country where advertising is extremely cheap.

    Someone tweeted to Nokia and HMD a picture of a smaller Apple kiosk as an example of what HMD could be doing to show more of a presence. Nokia sent back a pat-on-the-top-of-the-head-response, “Thanks! We’ll pass that on to the marketing team”. I responded, “If you need to pass that simple, common sense suggestion to your marketing team…fire your marketing team”. That original tweet really struck me, since I notice those small kiosks all over the place from oppo and Vivo.

    My concerns, as stated before, are not as a Nokia “fan”, but as a Nokia investor. The key to Nokia’s future business in health IT and health wearables relies, IMO, on a healthy and strong Nokia mobile brand. Profits from licensing sales is good, but is really just a drop in the revenue bucket. *IF* the Nokia brand every becomes the strong #3 player and Nokia has a thriving Health presence, I could see Nokia buying HMD in maybe 5 years. As it is, Nokia barely even mentions that side of the business during their quarterly reports.

    By the way, I found out about the Nokia Healthcare IT twitter feed from following Nokiamob. It’s almost as active as the Nokia Mobile feed, but with much more interesting content. Good stuff and one can get a real sense of the challenges faced by everyone involved to move the industry forward. Nokia has it’s fingers in all aspects of the sector (As, I’m sure Samsung, Apple, and probably Huawei do).

    So, sorry for the lengthy response. Not a rant, just stating my concerns. Until, I am sure that it really is raining and not HMD peeing on my leg, I’ll continue to state my concerns via emails, tweets, and comments.

    • Trusting COs without any concrete data isn’t smart, but it’s still a company representative on public record. Yeah, I was surprised about his explanation for marketing and remembered our discussions. Maybe they are really reading us, but it could also be true (and probably is) that the demand is higher than their production capacity.

      They went very wide (globally, but not with all devices) with their first devices and that is a big deal. 🙂

      Marketing will come (I hope) as their establish a better footstep in more markets, and I mostly ignore the PR dudes via Nokia Mobile on Twitter because they have to respond with something (to seem polite and connected) and often say some stupid things.

      • Michael Well, well, Nat and I decided to go out to stores and ask questions. Here is what we found out in our very small survey of 4 stores.

        1. Nokia name is still pretty popular. Even with zero advertising, people are looking for the phones. People like me and the folks reading this site. He said a lot of interest was from word-of-mouth

        2. Nokia 6 is the overwhelming favorite. Each salesperson we talked to said the 6 is the favorite phone. One shop said they sold at least 1 nokia 6 everyday and are currently sold out.

        3. HMD Is trickling out phones to retailers. Since release on the 29th, the jaymart store received 10 Nokia 8 phones. I think 6 blue and 4 silver. After today, they have 2 silver in stock. All others sold.

        4. I think Thailand will not be getting copper according to one of the salespersons. So we bought the last remaining blue at Jaymart 🙂

        5. regarding signage, it was nice to see some Nokia signs in Jaymart. Last week there was none. One other store had some signs. None of the stores had Nokia 8 floor display models. In fact only one store had 3,5,6 floor display models.

        I guess for now I am forced to give HMD the benefit of the doubt regarding marketing efforts here in Thailand. But only because they are sending a small amount of phones this way. Demand seems good given the lack of exposure. I am a little concerned they still dont have a solid manufacturing chain. We should hopefully get a bit more information as the quarters progress.

        • They definitely need to step up production for future models of the demand is that big.
          And, how’s the 8? 😀 First thoughts?

          • Michael

            Just getting it updated (latest August patch) and apps re-installed.

            The phone itself has a good quality feel. Just the right weight. It doesn’t feel like a tank or overbuilt. Of all the Android phones out right now that I have picked up and handled, the 8, to me feels the best (The 3,5,and 6 all feel nice as well). Of course that subjective feeling sort of goes away once one puts the phone in a case 😛 *note, just came across a concern, Described in camera comment.

            Obviously very responsive and smooth.

            Just took a quick look at the camera interface. One thing on the camera settings that is interesting (and I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere) is how to toggle the volume key which can be set as the following:

            1. Take a picture
            2. Zoom
            3. Volume control

            So people who are complaining about a dedicated shutter button can setup the volume control as a shutter. That should solve their problem…unless they want it as zoom or volume.

            Having said that, I’m a little concerned about the power an volume buttons. They really don’t seem all that precise. When I tested out the camera shutter, it wouldn’t depress cleanly. I sort of had to lightly persuade it towards me (little bit of play in the button) and then push it down. The power button, has a bit of play as well. Probably because they designed them so thin. Should have been a slightly thicker, more precise button.

            Manual mode is fairly useless as we already know.

            The screen is freakin bright when turned up. I’ll be interested to see what it looks like in full sunlight.

            Don’t really mind the stock Android lancher, but will probably load Nova Launcher as it has better layout.

            Once I get it completely setup and can play around with all the features, I’ll leave some more comments. This will be Nat’s phone. I’ll use my Huawei P9 until the Nokia 9 comes out. But, specs are close, especially the camera, so I’ll be able to compare the two.

            Very cool to hear all the different Nokia sounds (startup, ringtone, SMS).

          • Michael

   Oh, forgot. Price was 19500 baht or 580 USD. With that we got a bag of useful goodies.

          • Great price and a lot of goodies. Awesome. Hope the device will serve well :). I think the thing about buttons is just that it takes time to get used to. I noticed the same using the 6, but after few days it felt normal.
            I’m a little jealous now 😀

          • Michael

            For sure, it seems can be something to get used to, but it would be a much better design and more confidence inspiring if the buttons were more precise. I’ll pass that info to Nokia. I’m sure I’ll get a “Thanks! We’ll pass that off to our design team!” pat on the head. LOL.

            The goodie bag was a surprise, because when we first went by Jaymart, the promotion was 23900. I was just happy to get the phone for 19500. That fisheye lense clipon might be fun and the battery bank is useful. I swore I’d never use a selfie stick. Maybe I’ll use it when not around the public haha.

            I have already found a good reason to use Nova Launcher. We like to have a weather widget on the home screen that is thin and spans the width of the top of the screen. Current widgets are shorter and won’t resize using stock lancher. Nova allows me to resize. I also like to make use of grouping under a folder, but Nova has a lot of layout customizations that allow me to get it *just right*.

            Can’t wait to see how the camera and video recording functions. I think Nat is really going to like it once I’ve got it all setup.

          • Michael

            Played with a few different free camera apps. Open Camera gives the most control in a fairly un-user-friendly interface. . Also using Camera MX. All three (including stock), look to produce visibly different results (Especially HDR)

            Main point on this comment was it looks like the minimum shutter speed is only 0.7 sec. That is what is showing up as the slowest shutter speed I can set in Open Camera. My Huawei P9 with its very nice stock camera interface including manual controls can go all the way to 30 seconds.

            Anyway, this phone is built with selfies and “bothies” in mind, not higher level photography so I suppose the hardware is all within design parameters.

          • We will see after few updates how much the camera can be improved. After all, ZEISS worked on optics

          • Could you please check something for me? Can you press the phone with you finger right where the Nokia logo is on the back? Like in this video here. Do you get the same result?

          • Michael

            Tried it. Ours does not make any kind of noise. The back doesn’t feel super solid, but then given the construction for heat dissipation I wouldn’t expect it to.

          • This guy noticed the same with the buttons on the 8. Seems it’s by design, because the sides are really thin (4.6mm I think):

    • Deep Shekhar

      yeah!! you’re absolutely right. I totally agree with you.

      And also Nokia is infamous for not listening to its’ customers and responding according to the markets.Just take the example of Nokia 3,5 & 6, the competition in that price points are offering great features and value of money, but Nokia is still adamant to their own ways by not giving the consumers what they want (in this case powerful processor and RAM).

      I appreciate their build quality but I think people don’t need their phones to be build like a tank, people are going to change their smartphones in every 2-3 years(in that entry level and mid level segment) and also making those quality phones takes a lot of time so it’s also challenging to manufacture large amount of phones in less time to meet up the demand.

      I really liked the Vibrant lumia portfolio they were beautiful and robust in comparison to dull looking Nokia 5 & 6.

      I just hope everything goes well for HMD Global and achieve newer heights in innovation and market share, and eventually later acquired by Nokia.

  • How 9 phones? Nokia 150, Nokia 3310, Nokia 105, Nokia 130, Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and Nokia 8. Am I missing any of the feature phones? He said 5 feature phones and i see only 4.

    • He misspoke? It could be that he counted the Nokia 216 introduced by Microsoft in Sept. 2016, during the transition.

      • And I was assuming that they might launch 1 more feature phone or a smartphone in few weeks 😛

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