While at MWC 2018 we got a chance to interview HMD CMO Pekka Rantala who answered our questions at great length. Here is a summary of key points that we think our readers will find interesting out of the good interview.
Nokia Webshop coming to new markets:
Pekka confirmed that the Nokia MobileShop that is already active in Russia and some European markets is coming to even more markets. We have recently reported about MobileShop links for the Indian market too. This is part of the HMD’s retail strategy and taking shape well.
High NPS for products:
Pekka also highlighted how in the very first year itself Nokia smartphones and feature phones enjoyed very high customer loyalty and recommendation.
The only brand committing to Android One portfolio wise:
Nokia is the only brand that has committed to the Google’s Android One and Go programs portfolio wise. Nokia Smartphones from Nokia 3 up will be part of Android One portfolio while Nokia 1 and Nokia 2 will be part of Android Go. This will ensure guaranteed faster Security and OS updates.
New Nokia Smartphones’ global release plans:
Shipments for the new Nokia smartphones and Nokia 8110 4G begin worldwide in April though as per Pekka, not on the same date for all the markets. But it seems HMD has much better supply chain planning this time around compared to the year 2017.
HMD looking to partner with Carriers in the US:
Talking about the tough yet very interesting US market, Pekka admitted that they are indeed looking to partner with Carriers in the US though it may not happen in the near future. While he didn’t confirm any specific phone to be released in the US market he talked about the global release of the phones with ample hint that we may see them in the US too.
Nokia Naming strategy & the new Nokia 2, 3 and 5:
According to Pekka, the new Nokia smartphones will be just be named as “new” version of the existing smartphones. So, the Nokia 6 2018 is the “New Nokia 6” and so will be the Nokia 6 2019. Pekka interestingly cited new Nokia 5, 3 and 2 as possible examples of this rule in future and said these will arrive sometime in future.
Talking about this naming strategy at length Pekka claimed this would establish a brand equity for individual Nokia smartphones. So, people will remember the range from Nokia 1 to Nokia 8 by just names and will look forward to the new one for the yearly upgrade.
Why Nokia 7 Plus & Nokia 8 Sirocco names:
When we asked about the aberrations to the above naming strategy like Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco, he explained that Plus is for the screen size. Nokia 8 Sirocco name comes from 8800 Sirocco that was the first stainless steel phone. As you know Nokia 8 Sirocco smartphone is also built from a single block of stainless steel.
Pekka told that HMD has started to do things in imaging already which will show up in future smartphones. He also shared the interesting anecdote with us that he was part of the team that had finalized the first-ever Nokia-Carl Zeiss deal.
Listen to it yourself
You can hear our interview with Pekka Rentala below.