HMD Global shipped around 82 million Nokia phones in 2018 (CP)

At the end of every calendar quarter, market analysis Company Counterpoint Research posts the figures about market share in the mobile world, that also show us approximately how HMD Global, the maker of Nokia phones, performed. Counterpoint posted all their reports for 2018, with the latest being about regional market share in Q4 2018. Thanks to all that data, we can calculate how many devices HMD Global shipped in 2018, according to Counterpoint Research. The real data might be different. As a private company, HMD doesn’t need to publicly disclose its business results, except to Finnish authorities.

If we take Counterpoint’s numbers for Q1-Q4 2018, in terms of smartphones, HMD Global shipped 17.9 million Nokia smartphones in 2018. The number of feature phones is a bit more imprecise, because I had to multiply HMD’s marketshare (that is rounded) to the number of total feature phones shipped, so it might be a few percentages off. The feature phone shipments sits at 64 million for 2018.

In total, that means a bit less than 82 million Nokia phones were shipped during 2018, HMD’s second full year of operation. The only sales figure HMD officially posted was that the Company shipped 70 million Nokia phones in 2017. Based on some market research reports, we could break the 2017 result like around 8-10 million smartphones and 60-62 million featurephones. Regardless, we can see that most of the growth was based on smartphones, which is healthy, but the stagnation in feature phones might be troubling. It seems that the 8110 4G didn’t build up on the momentum that the 3310 created.

As mentioned above, the latest report Counterpoint was a regional breakdown of the smartphone and feature phone market. Unfortunately for HMD, there is no Nokia brand in the top 5 smartphones category in any market, while last year (and quarters before), the company made an appearance in Europe. In fact, sales in Europe fell around 18% in Q4 2018 on a yearly level, and as we learn, HMD is doing a big re-organization in Europe, but we will write more about this when all details become available.

In terms of feature phones, the company has a solid regional breakdown in Q4, being present in all regions but Latin America in the top 5. The infographic for the feature phones is posted above.

And the final graph I prepared is a troubling one, because it shows a negative trend for HMD Global. Since Q4 2017, the total sales of Nokia phones have been going down compared to the previous quarter, with Q2 and Q3 of 2018 being somewhat identical. For a lean company starting from 0 it still looks ok, but considering the number of announced devices during 2018 and the media buzz HMD gets, I expected that lines to go a bit more up.

Anyways, we are in 2019 now and HMD Global announced their new devices at MWC19 last week. The first reactions for the Nokia 9 seem to be overwhelmingly positive, and I find the new low end phones Nokia 1 Plus, 3.2, and 4.2 good devices on paper. In this quarter, Nokia 8.1 also became available in Europe, and we will see if this will have any positive impact on sales. It will also be interesting to see the financial results for 2018. This data usually becomes available in Q3 via the Finnish tax authority’s site online (we keep an eye on that too ;)).