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March 03, 2017


Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

Great comments and questions. Let me take just the China question.

China was timing only related to their gift-giving season. Nokia is strong brand, the Nokia 6 the most expensive of their new phones, they could do a modest early run. Not quite ready for Western Christmas (mid-December) but just-in-time one week before Chinese New Year. So it was just the gift-season timing issue. The 'proper' way to do the full launch is like HMD did, with a national event and max press etc - like they did now in Barcelona.

Note Nokia did the same also previously for example with the E7 (the last 'Communicator' on Symbian) which just missed the Christmas launch period for 2010 but did just make it into the New Year sales for China in 2011. Then right after Chinese New Year was done, Elop came with his big press event announcing - oh, we're ending Symbian (sorry China who just bought a couple of million flagship phones that will become instantly obsolete and whose resale value collapsed overnight).

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@Wayne: some Indian HMD exec told in an interview N6,5,3 and maybe even 3310 will be manufactured in India. If true local brands hardly could achieve annyi nthing with government. HMD will be as global as any other locals.

Not to mention India is the biggest democratic country of the World so even government follows the laws there... ;)

Wayne Borean

This is going to be awesome to watch. Designing a product for a specific set of markets can be really lucrative if you get it right.

Nokia/HMD has obviously put a lot of thought into these phones. I'm really looking forward to seeing the sales numbers after they've been on the market for a year.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi zlutor and Wayne

zlutor - thanks, I hadn't seen that. If Foxconn is setting up a factory for manufacturing inside India - partly for Apple - then haha, it would/should be no big problem to use that factory also to make Nokias there.. There WAS a Nokia factory too in India (I wonder if Foxconn received that in the stuff they bought from Microsoft) and if that is involved..

Wayne - haha yeah, this is going to be an interesting aspect to the year. The first roll-outs (apart from China) won't really happen until Q2 so we won't have any kind of real numbers of any scale until after Q3 but there should be some early signs in some of the markets. Also we'll have to see what kind of data HMD will be willing to release. Will they report actual unit sales numbers.

Now on 'designing a product for specific set of markets can be rally lucrative' yeah. That was how Nokia did it up to Elop meltdown. Nokia had a portfolio of more than 50 new smartphone models and at least as many dumbphones they released every year - one per week on average - and they were almost all aimed at some specific region, not just a specific customer segment. Only very few models were 'global' models of a kind of 'generic' design and these would essentially only be the low-volume very expensive top end phones. The large volume phones would almost invariably have a regional focus with an Africa-oriented phone model being truly different from say Latin America oriented (similar) model or say a China phone (also similar). African phones from very early on were dual SIM phones - that most operators/carriers hated. China had its own 3G technoloy so there were often 'only China' variants to a given phone and then they'd do various other China-things while they had that, starting from of course the language and setup of the phone defaults.

But to do regional differentiation does mean you need scale. I don't think HMD will ever get to the stage Nokia once was, even many in the industry felt Nokia had gone too far in managing a complex matrix of products and segments and trying to keep all that in line. But obviously the 'only one model is enough per year' view from Apple iPhone has also been abandoned, as Apple already has gone to three new phone models per year. Slowly moving towards where Nokia was, while Nokia obviously has come back from the extreme level of differentiation. Samsung is nearer today to where Nokia then was. HMD will end up probably somewhere between where Apple is now and where Samsung is now. A dozen new models per year (smartphones) and half that in dumbphones for say year 2018 could be reasonable. Thats on average one new smartphone model released per month - in reality probably staggered so, that most phones come out abuot once per quarter at a bigger HMD/Nokia event.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


You state $299/$249/$179 as announced prices for the 6/5/3, but what I have seen published are €299/€189/€139 -- which is significantly (though not massively) different for the 5 and 3 models.

Is there an authoritative announcement from HMD about the pricing of these new devices?



maybe 3310 only? let's see...

William Hamilton Whyte

Excellent article and spot on... One other big reason HMD can succeed in the countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nigeria etc ... Most major distributors have a historic and emotional connection with Nokia... And are I am sure ready to gamble and see if they can fulfill the gap that was left.


Nice read, and very spot on.

But I think that the new Nokia smartphones also will sell at least in Europe. They won't be earth-shattering successes, but I'd guess they'll find their target audience.

The Motorola G4 also did quite well last year, I know a few people who bought it. They can't or don't want to afford a high end phone, but those who aren't flashing custom ROMs are disappointed by Lenovo's slow updates. Also, at least one person I know would have preferred a metal phone, but went for the better overall package with the G4 plus in the end.

I guess that competing with the likes of the G4 (or now G5 in 2017) in Europe may not have been a top priority for HMD, but I do think that they will position the N6 accordingly. Also I guess this is also part of their plan, as demonstrated by the promises of monthly security patches.

Tomi T Ahonen

Now this IS disappointing

Story that is quoting official Nokia account says Nokia smartphones will no longer feature Carl Zeiss optics. That is VERY disappointing. And article also suggests Pureview is not coming either. (could not post link, article I read was at PC Tech Mag)

Some days the gods of mobile phones are merciful and smile upon us mere humans, other days the gods may throw their dice, their minds as cold as ice, and someone way down here, loses tech so dear...

Tomi Ahonen :-)



Sorry Tomi, but nowadays the camera field is going towards Light camera's direction (see: ) which means that the key role is the algorithm which does the image processing whilst the image comes from some cheap physical camera/lenses. That is the future!

So, I think that Nokia's direction is a good one.


An enormous round of applause, continue the great work.
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vodafone telephone

The Info in the blog is out of this world, I so want to read more.
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Your articles and contents are encouraging.


Looks like Tomi was (almost) right with his 3310 forecast: HMD was taken by surprise with the enormous demand for the 3310. In India, where the recommended retail price was set at 3,310 (!) rupees, the stores ran out of stock quickly:

As for the "almost" part: It also seems to be a hit phone in the UK, where it was sold out within less than 24 hours, even after retailers allowed pre-registrations of orders since March:

And that was even *before* it was launched in other important markets like South Africa or Malaysia, and *before* the new smartphones are being shipped in June. It almost seems like the boys and girls at HMD know what they are doing ;)

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