Nokia wants to be top three phone maker

It's fair to say that Nokia's return to the smartphone market a year ago raised more than a few eyebrows.

Many observers wondered how the iconic firm would compare against the super-powered tech giants dominating the industry; however the move, under the stewardship of licence holder HMD Global, has proved to be a major success. 

Consumers and businesses alike are reportedly flocking to both the company's retro products (such as the new Nokia 3310) as well as its all-new, Android-powered flagships. 

With the company releasing a host of more new handsets at Mobile World Congress 2018, does this mean that Nokia is set to become a mobile heavyweight once again?

'Fantastic response'

"We've been really happy about how we've been received...there's been a fantastic response from the market," Andrej Sonkin, GM of enterprise at HMD Global, told TechRadar Pro at MWC 2018.

He notes that Nokia devices now ship to 170 countries across the globe, with the Western Europe region seeing particularly strong growth in this time. 

Effectively starting from scratch just 14 months ago when HMD Global launched its operations, the company has developed a hugely successful distribution network and built a number of key partnerships relationships that has led Nokia to move into the ranks of the top five phone makers in Western Europe by the end of 2017.

This growth has been seen across both consumer and enterprise markets, Sonkin says, as customers flock to Nokia's message of providing "pure, secure and up to date" devices.

"The feedback we've had from enterprises and SMBs is the need for flexibility of their devices depending on their needs," Sonkin says, "from the enterprise perspective, this means that the pure Android option is really available to the market, and not confined to just one price point only."

The Nokia 8 Sirocco was one of the new handsets launched at MWC 2018

The Nokia 8 Sirocco was one of the new handsets launched at MWC 2018


Several Nokia devices were also recently included in Google's new Android Enterprise Recommended program, which highlights the handsets it suggests are the best for business use.

Sonkin describes this as, "a huge seal of approval", and one that should help Nokia to continue to grow its business across Europe. The company has a goal of becoming one of the top three smartphone brands within the next three years, and enjoying strong growth across both enterprise and consumer customer bases will be key to this.

"We are definitely ambitious and committed to reach this," Sonkin says, noting that the new Nokia devices launched at MWC 2018 are "really cool additions to our portfolio."

"The Nokia brand is important - there's a set of crtieria consumers expect from a Nokia device," he notes, naming good battery life, attractive design and a smooth user experience, and adding that last year's devices have seen "tremendous positive feedback" from both enterprise and consumer users - feedback that has gone into building the latest devices.

Ultimately, Sonkin says that the goal now for Nokia and HMD Global is to continue its initial encouraging success and build on this for a bright future.

"We're very humble and proud of what we have achieved," he says, "and we look forward to continuing on the same path."

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.  

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.