HMD Global confirms it has no aspirations to release anything other than budget Nokia smartphones
HMD Global has confirmed to Android Authority that there will be no successor to the Nokia 9 PureView, its last flagship smartphone. Released in 2019, the Nokia 9 PureView featured a 1440p display, a Snapdragon 845 SoC and an outlandish five cameras. Unfortunately, HMD Global's execution was poor and could not convince us when we reviewed the device.
While there were indications in late 2020 that HMD Global would unveil a new flagship Nokia smartphone in 1H 2021, nothing came to pass. Now, HMD Global's Adam Ferguson, Head of Product Marketing, is quoted as having said:
Making an $800 phone doesn't make sense for us at the moment...[HMD does not] want to get involved in a massive spec war with other players...[and would rather] stand for something very different.
In short, HMD Global's profit comes from feature phones, not smartphones. As the graph below shows, HMD Global failed to sell more than 5 million smartphones per quarter even after bringing the Nokia 9 PureView to market. On the other hand, it has consistently shipped over 10 million Nokia feature phones, except during the first two quarters of 2020.
HMD Global's approach is apparently working too. Last month, the company announced that it had been profitable for six consecutive quarters, stretching back to autumn 2020. Its smartphone shipments are steadily increasing as well, which may explain why we are yet to see a Nokia 8.3 5G successor yet either.