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MWC 2019: HMD Global brings out monthly security updates as a differentiator for the Android market

Paul Lipscombe
March 12, 2019

HMD says it has brought out 34 new security patches to smartphones since 2018

HMD Global has unveiled four new smartphones as it continues to grow its Android Enterprise business.

The firm, which has a long-term licensing agreement with Nokia, revealed the Nokia 1 Plus and the Nokia 3.2, 4.2 and 9 PureView smartphones –as well as new feature phone the Nokia 210.

All five phones were unveiled at an event attended by around 400 people at Carrer de Cristobal de Moura.

During the launch, HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche said the Nokia customer base had trebled in 2018, but did not give the exact number of users. Last year at MWC, HMD Global said that it shipped 70 million phones during 2017.

A key area of HMD Global’s offering has been its approach to providing monthly security updates under Android One.

HMD Global GM for the enterprise business Andrej Sonkin (pictured) told Mobile News that 34 security patches have been launched since the start of 2018 as the company looks to keep its business users up to date.

“It’s our strategy to continue offering an Android experience to Android Enterprise customers,” says Sonkin. “For business customers, the monthly security updates are very important and give them peace of mind.

The updates are part of HMD Global’s ‘pure, secure and up-to-date’ approach, which Sonkin says helps to enhance the user experience.

“It makes the enrolment simpler and ensures that the life-cycle support for these devices is easier; this ultimately helps to optimise the total cost of ownership,” he says.

There are currently 11 Nokia devices in the Android Enterprise portfolio, most of which are updated to the latest Android 9 Pie operating system.

Sonkin added that HMD Global’s enterprise division comprises around 10 per cent of the company’s business in Western Europe and has strong customer loyalty.

“In Western Europe, we now work with over 50 organisations that have selected our devices. We’ve also seen a 100 per cent retention rate, so our customers have been pleased with their devices,” says Sonkin.

HMD Global also remains optimistic in its bid to breach the top three in the UK vendor market, says UK and Ireland general manager Sarah Edge.

According to IDC, HMD Global had a UK market share of 4.4 per cent for smartphone and feature phones in 2018.

“We are still ambitious and were about fourth place for total market share in the UK for 2018. We believe our new portfolio will help us to stay there,” says Edge.

Nokia was market leader for feature phones in 2018, with 25 per cent market share in Europe, according to Counterpoint Research – and Edge says this is still a key area for HMD Global: “Feature phones are still a core part of our strategy and target a different area of the market.”

The company’s latest flagship Nokia 9 PureView features five cameras, something that HMD says is a world first and Edge says was about delivering something new.

“We wanted to do something very different in the imaging space and believe this camera set-up with its depth of field and layers of depth can create some amazing images,” she says.

Nokia devices are currently ranged by EE, O2, Vodafone and all major retailers in the UK.

Latest range
A release date has not been confirmed for the Nokia 9 PureView device, which will cost an estimated global average price of $699.

The cameras are each 12MP and are designed to work simultaneously together. The phone, which has a 5.99-inch display, is only available in midnight blue, supports wireless charging, is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset and runs on the Android 9 Pie operating system.

HMD Global’s Nokia 3.2 and 4.2 smartphones both come with dedicated Google Assistant buttons.

The 4.2 features a 3,000mAh battery, has a 5.7-inch display and will start from a price of $169.

The Nokia 3.2 is slightly cheaper, starting from $139, but has a bigger 6.26 full HD+ display, as both smartphones are on the Android 9 Pie OS.

HMD Global’s Nokia 1 Plus is available from $99, runs on the Android 9 (Go Edition) OS and is available in black, blue and red.

The Nokia 210 feature phone starts at $35 and comes in black, grey and red.

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