Like a second coming, CEO, Florian Seiche says Nokia plans to lead the smartphone market again

Omoleye Omoruyi
HMD Global’s commitment is to make products that consumers will love, trust, and keep for long as they go about their daily needs
Nokia
Nokia

When we wrote about the rise, dominance and fall of Nokia phones, we were talking about the first coming of the phone brand that was in the hearts and minds of many people across Nigeria – we were all mostly emotionally attached to that brand.

If you talk about durability, you will only need to pick any of the Nokia 3310 or 1100 and be satisfied. When the conversation switched to affordability, that dominant phone brand was top of mind.

Those are the two selling points yet, as HMD Global, the makers of the Nokia phone, plan to dominate the market once again. This time, sustainability is the third string in the wheel.

At a media parley today, the CEO of HMD Global, Florian Seiche on a visit to Nigeria alongside the Vice President, sub-Saharan Africa, Justin Maier, said that the vision of Nokia is connecting the world without costing the world.

Florian Seiche, CEO, HMD Global (Nokia)
Florian Seiche, CEO, HMD Global

Sustainability has been a big commitment for us.

Florian Seiche

Speaking on the significance of the visit, the GM, West and Central Africa, Joseph Umunakwe said Florian is in Nigeria to understand the market personally as well as “align the company’s strategy to the outlook of the market.”

Joseph Umunakwe, GM, West and Central Africa, HMD Global
Joseph Umunakwe, GM, West and Central Africa, HMD Global

Commenting about the visit, Florian Seiche said:

“Nigeria has been a strategic location for our West African business. We recognise the innovative nature of the market and are committed to meeting and satisfying our customers. Our innovative devices are a testament to our commitment to being a customer-centric organisation.”

Justin Maier, sub-Saharan Africa, added, “The visit is a high reflection of the impact the Nigerian business has had on the company.  We continue to listen to our customers and design products that suit their everyday needs with devices they love, trust, and want to keep for longer.”

Nokia x Nigeria

In a report by Technext, Nigeria was named in a list of four countries that are the biggest top four smartphone markets.

It was mentioned that annual smartphone sales in Nigeria rose by 81% year-on-year (YoY) in 2021. The sales share of 4G LTE smartphones in Nigeria grew to 72% in 2021, while 3G smartphones dropped.

Improving economic conditions, pent-up demand and the entry of new Chinese OEMs meant Nigerians dipped their hands into their pockets to buy more smartphones than they did a year before.

The top three smartphone markets in Africa by unit share in Q2 2022 were South Africa (16.6%), Nigeria (13.8%), and Kenya (7.7%); however, all three saw shipments decline QoQ. 

Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) led the African smartphone market in Q2 2022 with a unit share of 48%, maintaining steady shipments into the region. 

The average selling price (ASP) of smartphones in Africa declined 3% QoQ in Q2 2022 due to a sharp 22.3% QoQ fall in shipments of midrange devices ($200<$450). 

Understand the reasons for the decline, Nokia says it is here to give consumers the best experience without costing them, or the environment, much.

We don’t want consumers to have to buy devices every six months. We want to make the devices so reliable that they last up to three years.

Justin Maier

Adding to this comment, Florian Seiche said, “At HMD Global, home of Nokia phones, we want people to keep their phones for longer and this can be seen across three areas. We have introduced Circular, a truly circular subscription model that rewards people who extend the lifecycle of their phones.

Nokia

We build our devices with more recycled materials and continue to boost our longevity heritage with software and security updates. And we are working hard to live this approach as a company, with our business-wide sustainability pledges that show our commitment to continue to work harder to protect tomorrow.”

Circular awards users more “seeds” the longer they keep a device. These seeds are expected to be used towards supporting sustainability or charitable efforts around the world, including planting trees or reducing carbon, backing a firm removing plastic from rivers, or providing connectivity to those in need.

The new scheme has been announced alongside a lineup of new Nokia phones, and a tablet, including the Nokia X30 5G smartphone – which the company says is its most eco-friendly phone ever due to a 100% recycled aluminium frame and 65% recycled plastic back.

Nokia X30 5G
Nokia X30 5G

Added to that is the Nokia C31, which the firm says has a three-day battery life, the Nokia G60 5G – which also features a substantial amount of recycled materials – and the Nokia T21 tablet.

The company guarantees all-day use for this lineup, so battery life is not a problem.

Also, Florian says the company is introducing a Consumer Device Financing sales model in Africa, making Nokia phones more accessible and affordable. To do this, the company is partnering with companies like MTN and Slot and will monitor the model so the consumer is not cheated.

However, only 10 to 20% of the Nigerian population uses smartphones. The majority of mobile users are still using feature phones which offer basic phone functions like voice calling and text messaging, according to Statista. So, how far can Nokia go, especially in a vastly competitive market like Nigeria?


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