The Nokia smartphone brand is still on the rise, with HMD Global shipping approximately 4.15 million handsets in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, according to Counterpoint Research. The Finnish company purchased the license to sell Nokia-branded devices just over a year ago and has yet to celebrate the first anniversary of its global presence, with its Android phones being exclusively available in China for the majority of the first quarter of 2017 when around 100,000 of them were shipped. Following the 2017 edition of the Mobile World Congress and the international launch of its offerings, HMD managed to ship 1.4 million devices in Q2, then doubled its performance over the third quarter of the last year. In total, the company sent nearly 8.5 million smartphones to retailers in 2017, though it's presently unclear how many of those shipped units ended up being sold.
Based on shipments, Counterpoint estimates HMD seized approximately one-percent of the global smartphone market in the final quarter of 2017, having continued amassing commercial momentum around the world. The market analytics firm is partially attributing that success to the "sentimental value" of the Nokia smartphone brand that it believes resonated with both retailers and consumers alike, adding that HMD also did well to diversify its portfolio in a relatively quick manner and is now covering essentially all device price points. Ever since introducing the Nokia 6 (2017), HMD focused on delivering aggressively priced handsets offering a relatively stock Android experience and coming with a guarantee of frequent software updates. The company took that approach to all of its offerings, from the entry-level Nokia 3 to the Nokia 8 flagship, having already established a solid foothold in a number of developing markets and Europe, the research firm indicated.
HMD is expected to continue employing the same product strategy going forward, with the Nokia 6 (2018) now being set for a Western launch that's expected to be confirmed late this month at the latest iteration of the Mobile World Congress. The company already teased its arrival to Spain, with one of its executives recently saying consumers can expect something "awesome" from the Barcelona-based trade show. Besides the Nokia 6 (2018), HMD may also end up launching an international version of the Nokia 7 and a bezel-free Nokia 9 flagship that's been the subject of numerous rumors for nearly a year now.