Nokia to focus on expanding its US smartphone market presence this year

Nokia to focus on expanding its US smartphone market presence this year
The Nokia 8 Sirocco

Between January 2017 and December 2018, a considerable 70 million Nokia-branded phones were sold. This was all achieved without any major presence in the US. But with the business continuing to grow, HMD Global, the company behind Nokia’s recent success, revealed that this could soon change.

In a recent interview with Digital Trends, the company stated that it “really” wants to increase the size of its US business throughout 2019. Eventually, the company hopes Nokia will become “one of the leading smartphone brands” in the market. However, it is aware that there are already “big players” in the market and that achieving such a scenario will take quite a bit of time. Nevertheless, HMD is “confident” that growth can be achieved.

Initial plans for the US market include expanding retail distribution but the company also revealed that it’s in talks with major carriers to discuss possible agreements. It didn’t provide any detail on the matter but one of these agreements could include a partnership with Verizon. After all, a Verizon-branded Nokia 2V has leaked out multiple times, suggesting a release is imminent.

Looking to the future, HMD Global was keen to point out that its current focus is smartphones as it requires “full attention.” However, it was suggested that wearables and other product categories could be explored once the Nokia brand has grown to a reasonable size.

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4 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Looks like HMD is about to silence those saying that they don't care about/don't focus on the U.S. market. And considering how well HMD has been doing with their Nokia branded smartphones in other markets overseas (Europe, China, and some others) I have no doubt that they will be able to succeed in the U.S. market. But they have to play it smart. They need to start off small to test the waters first (much like they are doing with the Verizon deal), and build from there. Having a U.S. carrier with which to sell their smartphones in will be crucial. It would be wise to even get another U.S. in their corner, as well. HMD has done a phenomenal in building back up the Nokia brand in the smartphone space with their sales and market share without the U.S. market, so adding to that success with the U.S. market can only benefit them.

2. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If the average consumer who doesn't frequent sites like this, and has no prior knowledge of Nokia, visits a Verizon store and comes across a device like the 2V, it may be the last time they decide to look at a Nokia handset. As inexpensive and well-equipped as the 6.1 and the 7.1 are, those should be an American's first taste of a Nokia. First impressions are tantamount to any success Nokia will have in this country. The Windows Phone fiasco may have left a bad taste in some people's minds. Not that they were bad (they were pretty f*****g awesome), I'm a huge WP fan, but many people felt burned by Nokia.

3. joshuaswingle

Posts: 569; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

I'm sure HMD would love to show consumers its more expensive devices inside Verizon stores, or any other carrier stores. But, at the moment, that doesn't make sense from a business point of view. Launching a mid-range smartphone designed specifically for a carrier requires more resources from both the carrier itself and HMD. If it turns out to be a failure then it's just wasted money. Testing the waters with a budget device is a very low-risk strategy. Plus, if it performs relatively well I'm sure it won't be too long before more expensive Nokia devices appear on carrier shelves.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

People going for a low end smartphone, especially average consumers, just want to make calls, send texts, and possibly an email or two. Maybe have access to FB. This phone will suit those needs. It has a 5.5 inch screen, SD425 (which isn’t bad for the low end at all) and a beefy 4000mAh battery, iirc. This would actually be pretty decent for the non-techie. The only let down is the 1 gig of RAM, but it should be sufficient for such a clean, bloat-free version of Android. Gotta start small to get big, my dude. On a side note, Windows Phone rocked. It just lacked apps and developer support.

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