Nokia has experienced success with its Android-based revival in partnership with manufacturer HMD Global, posting figures that put the likes of Google, HTC, and Sony to shame in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to analyst Neil Shah. On Twitter, Shah put out a list of Android device makers who Nokia surpassed for the quarter in smartphone sales volume, which includes the three mentioned above, as well as prominent names like Alcatel, OnePlus, ASUS, and Lenovo. Somewhat smaller Chinese OEMs who have been making a name for themselves have also had to take a backseat to Nokia, including Meizu, Coolpad, and Gionee. According to Counterpoint Research, the company sold 4.4 million Nokia brand smartphones during the quarter, capturing 1% of worldwide market share.
Going forward, Shah said that the company should focus on building up a fanbase in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa markets, then use that clout to take on Moto and Samsung in markets like Latin America. Interestingly, Shah did not mention India, an emerging market and key battleground where many smartphone makers from all over the globe are battling for the mindshare of around 1 billion users who are still not connected to the internet, and will likely do so via smartphones.
Nokia had released some Android devices before its recent revival in partnership with HMD Global, such as the Nokia X and the N1 Tablet, but those did not end up proving all that popular. The company had been locked in a contract with Microsoft to manufacture Windows-based Lumia smartphones, and was unable to create Android devices. The end of that obligation saw the company partner with HMD Global to unleash a new wave of Nokia smartphones that took the global market by storm in a short time, such as the mid-range Nokia 6 and affordable, feature-packed Nokia 2. While these phones saw some delays in reaching all of their intended global markets when the partnership was first formed, it's no longer a stretch to say that Nokia and HMD are in full swing and poised to compete seriously in 2018. The current worldwide market share for Nokia phones sits at 1%, versus 18.4% for top Android competitor Samsung.