Nokia seller HMD looks to smart and feature phones to grow its African business

INTERNATIONAL - HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the rights to sell Nokia-branded phones, is targeting growth in both its smartphones and more basic models as it bids to become Africa's number-one phone brand, its vice president for sub-Saharan Africa said on Thursday.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the company's eight global regions with South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya representing its biggest markets, Justin Maier said in an interview. India is the phone's biggest market globally.

“Africa is still a growing market, moving consumers from the feature phone to a smartphone experience, so there are opportunities for us there as a brand,” he said.

Feature phones - devices that lie between basic phones and smartphones - remain an important part of the company's strategy, Maier said.

Market share of feature phones in Africa increased from 55 percent in 2016 to 61 percent last year, while that of smartphones fell from 45 percent to 39 percent in the same period, according to the International Data Corporation.

Nokia seller HMD looks to smart and feature phones to grow its African businessA sales representative waits next to a Nokia smartphones stand at a shop in Nairobi

HMD Global offers feature phones ranging in price from $18 for the entry-level Nokia 105 to $50 for the

Click through to Business Report for the full story

Additional information