Nokia focused on reliability not a smartphone tech ‘arms race’

3 March 2022, 16:54

The new Nokia C21 Plus smartphone
Nokia C21 Plus – emotional. Picture: PA

Adam Ferguson from HMD Global, the licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets, said users want more than just big specifications.

Nokia’s newest smartphones want to “get the fundamentals right” rather than getting “caught up in an arms race over specifications” with other manufacturers, the firm behind its handsets has said.

Adam Ferguson, global head of product marketing at HMD Global, the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets, said its new C21 Plus and C2 smartphones were not about making headlines with price tags or high specifications but providing reliability to users.

The phones start at £100 and £75 respectively. They come with promised long-battery life and durable design to encourage users to keep their phones for longer, while still offering the expected advantages of a modern smartphone, including quality screens and cameras.

Unveiling the phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) tech show in Barcelona, Mr Ferguson said they were inspired by Nokia’s reputation for reliability and durability from the first wave of mobile phones in the 1990s.

“It’s getting those fundamentals right and really establishing in our users’ minds what the value that a Nokia brings is,” he told the PA news agency.

“We don’t want to get caught up in this sort of arms race for spec that’s going on around the rest of the industry.

“There are plenty of other people that can do that – you want a few extra megapixels here at this price point or you want a few extra bits of frame rate on your refresh rate on your screen, fine, I’m sure there’s someone who can deal with that for you.

“But actually, you want a device that’s going to go the distance that you know you can rely on, with a lot of these fundamental principles done in the best way possible.

“That’s what we’re trying to stand for and bring back into the market again, and obviously, we’re served very well by the fact that that is a lot of what the Nokia heritage was about in the first place.”

Since reviving the Nokia phone brand in 2016, HMD Global has launched a string of smartphones and more basic feature phones, gradually re-establishing the brand in the market.

It now has a number of distinct ranges from premium smartphones down to entry-level feature phones and has found success in the mid-range market, too.

HMD Global has just reported a sixth straight quarter of profitability, and Mr Ferguson said smartphone revenue rose 47% last year, which he said was partly down to “getting those fundamentals” of durability and longevity right.

“They (the new phones) are less flashy and less exciting than some of what other people are turning up with, but at the same time this is going to be one of our various growth areas; people moving from feature phones into smartphones who are wanting something that’s really reliable,” he said.

“They are used to devices that really durable and robust that have batteries that last days, and we’re making sure that these devices deliver that in the smartphone category as well.”

By Press Association

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