HMD Global, which has been using the Nokia name for its devices, has announced that it will be assembling some of its devices in Kenya. This development was announced today by Gopher Ogembo, HMD Global’s Senior Business Manager for East Africa, who hinted that the firm is in various stages of setting up assembly plants in Kenya with its partners. HMD Global has been in the Kenyan market for nearly six years now, following an entry into the country back in 2017. It has been churning out phones every year, all targeting different segments of the market.
In its earlier years (2017-2019), HMD Global’s Nokia phones ranged from entry-level smartphones to high-end devices. However, the company failed to capture the flagship market, which had already been dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung. Admittedly, the “nostalgia” formula did not work for that segment, but HMD Global did not give up on the approach. Over the years, for instance, it has been trying to resurrect past popular devices with a few tweaks to fit into the modern market. For instance, it revived the 3310, the Banana Phone (8110 4G), and many others.
In the same spirit, Nokia hasn’t really moved away from feature phones, because it understands that there are millions of people who use these devices for phone calls and SMS, and not just for internet access. It is for this reason, perhaps, that telcos such as Safaricom will keep their 2G and 3G spectrum active for a while because they serve a critical part of the market. It should be noted that some developing nations have since switched off 2G connections to make way for modern and faster technologies such as 5G.
Other than assembling phones in Kenya, HMD Global has revealed that it will be offering device financing options for customers who want to buy Nokia devices on credit. According to Gopher, Nokia will complete this exercise in partnership with M-KOPA.
These developments will see considerable price drops for some Nokia phones in Kenya. Remember, smartphone prices have been growing over the years and they further received a sharp hike in 2022 following the introduction of new taxes. The falling Kenya shilling has also been unforgiving to the market, which is why people have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets to afford these shiny devices.
Today, also, Nokia also announced the availability of the G60. This is a mid-range device that also has 5G radios. It will be available from telco Safaricom at KES 53,000, and customers who pick it will also be given Nokia earbuds with active noise cancellation for free. Safaricom is currently offering the device for KES 49K thanks to Open Day.
Here are some of its specs:
|Body||Weight: 190 g|
|Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic frame/back|
|Display||6.58-inch IPS LCD, 1080 x 2408 pixels, 120Hz|
|Platform||Android 12, Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G, Octa-core CPU|
|Adreno 619 GPU, microSDXC slot, 64GB/128GB storage|
|Camera||Triple rear: 50 MP (wide), 5 MP (ultrawide), 2 MP (depth)|
|Single front: 8 MP (wide)|
|Battery||4500 mAh, non-removable, 20W wired charging|
|Features||Fingerprint sensor (side-mounted), NFC, FM radio|
|Colors||Pure Black, Ice Gray|
Remember, HMD Global just leased the Nokia brand for its phones.
However, the main Nokia brand is a Finnish company that specializes in 5G equipment. It has since launched a new logo as part of a brand redesign effort aimed at avoiding association with its previous involvement in mobile phones, which it abandoned nearly a decade ago.
This rebranding initiative was announced during 2023’s MWC, along with new strategic objectives that seek to facilitate more rapid growth as the world continues to adopt fifth-generation mobile technologies.