Has HMD abandoned China?

Hi all,It's been a few months since the X71 was launched in China and Taiwan and the 2.2 isn't available there yet, not even listed on the Nokia phones websites for those countries.

Has HMD abandoned China?

madbilly madbilly
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Hi all,
It's been a few months since the X71 was launched in China and Taiwan and the 2.2 isn't available there yet, not even listed on the Nokia phones websites for those countries. Last year HMD launched several models which were specifically for China - the X5, X6, X7 and Chinese version of the 3.1 plus, but this year so far only the X71. Also, those models last year had global variants as well, whereas the X71 has no global variant.
So what's going on?
I have wondered for a long time if the Chinese operation of Nokia Phones was run separately from the global operation, and the divergence this year suggests that this might be the case. Is this to do with the change in relationship between HMD and FIH Mobile? Do FIH essentially run the operation in China, and HMD have decided they don't agree with the FIH approach so that's why we don't see both Global and Chinese variants of the X71 and 2.2?
Maybe we will learn soon as we see what happens following the launch of the new phones today.
Cheers :)

Comments

  • Viccky Viccky
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    No, they have not abandoned China completely but they will focus less in China and pay more attention in European countries.
  • Thanuj Thanuj
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    viccky said:
    No, they have not abandoned China completely but they will focus less in China and pay more attention in European countries.
    Which if true is going to be good. I personally feel that HMD shifting its strategies to pay attention more on Global market rather than China first is better for them.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi @viccky, that's interesting, where did you read, hear or see that?
    @MatteBlacke, it could be better for HMD, especially since they seem to have been doing poorly in some European markets. But China is actually a high value market, customers there tend to buy more expensive phones than in some other markets (or so I have heard/read). So it depends if HMD can make phones which appeal to both Europe and China, as well as India and North America, which I presume are their biggest markets. (I presume that Russia is also a big market, but I don't know how it compares).
    Cheers :)
  • Viccky Viccky
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    @madbilly 🙄 either on my twitter feed or at any website redirected from twitter. 
  • Thanuj Thanuj
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    madbilly said:
    Hi @viccky, that's interesting, where did you read, hear or see that?
    @MatteBlacke, it could be better for HMD, especially since they seem to have been doing poorly in some European markets. But China is actually a high value market, customers there tend to buy more expensive phones than in some other markets (or so I have heard/read). So it depends if HMD can make phones which appeal to both Europe and China, as well as India and North America, which I presume are their biggest markets. (I presume that Russia is also a big market, but I don't know how it compares).
    Cheers :)
    To be fair. If Nokia released fewer devices and kept them well maintained with a proper naming scheme, Maybe the could've been more successful.

    The Indian market is already very competitive and brutal. The sub 20K(250 EUR) price range is just brutal now. Why, Because its the most popular. A typical indian customer pays no attention to the brand of phone he's buying rather he looks at how much worth the device is for the money.
    OEM's understood this and are now releasing device once after the other, It makes the sub 20K price range a un-forgiving price range to compete. I mean Samsung was know to release underpowered phones for the price. The same cannot be said now.

    There are phones that are lower prices now that can kick the Nokias out of the stadium.

    Nokia needs to aggressively price their devices, Need to offer better hardware(The build is good, But stuff like the USB port should not happen again) and give out clean software which to an extent they do.

    They also need to change their marketing strategies and how they communicate with their customers.

    Also due to the Jio-boom many indians are now internet enabled and they learn stuff about their android phones. Mainly one of them is the bootloader unlocking and Custom ROMS. Many reviewers who review the phone tells people that Stock Android is better than anything else on the market and people who read that come to know about modding. Then they try their hand at modding.

    This according to me is also one of Xiaomi's and OnePlus's biggest strenghts.





  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi @MatteBlacke, I think HMD are starting to released fewer devices now... at least, we have had less so far this year than we did last year (haven't we? - maybe not if we include feature phones).
    Build quality still needs to improve, you're right, there are some things which have been unforgiveable really. The stock Android message is difficult, I don't know why people say it's good, but they do, there seems to be a massive marketing effort by Google behind it (paying reviewers) and HMD are riding on this trend. But, you're right that they're missing a key part of it which is still customer choice by allowing for bootloader unlocking and supporting the modding community. Maybe they will learn one day, or maybe they won't?
    Adapt, migrate, or perish isn't that how the saying goes? Well, migrating isn't really an option for HMD so they must adapt or perish, which ultimately means some diversification in their software offering, I think and hope. Maybe this will make them more interested in China again by virtue of bringing some of the innovations from their software for that market to the rest of us.
    Cheers :)
  • singhnsk singhnsk
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    Ah! China! My easy guess - HMD needs a new software vendor to do software from scratch for China. Chinese users do not accept the too simple and basic stock Android, and since Google is a no-entry in China, HMD needs its own apps for all the basic functions. It was all handled by Evenwelll/FIH whatever, and since we know things aren't so well between them, I see the final impact. Even the prototypes of Nokia 4.2 and 3.2 seen by (I don't wanna add his name to reduce complications to him) were made in India and were spotted as disposed of with Indian SIM cards inserted too.

    Given that HMD's new software vendor is once again quite lame with so many optimizations lacking in the OSes, I am sure that there's no place yet to invest for a software which is exclusive for China. For now, hold a 4.2 and a similarly priced Samsung. You'll be surprised that Samsung is smoother and more attractive to the eyes vs. the so-called stock Android.

    You won't be too wrong in saying that FIH handled operations in China. It pretty much did that everywhere else, but probably even more in China. We know FIH was responsible for:
    Manufacturing and engineering (FIH Mobile)
    Distribution, sales, and support (TNS Mobile, subsidiary of FIH when it was last seen)
    Software (FIH/Evenwell whateves)

    It is only now that HMD is taking some things in its hands. And it is easy to guess that their problems have not ended.
    6.2 and 7.2 are a live example that HMD is facing a shortage of manturacturing space and they have played this card to churn 2 devices out of a single manufacturing process. The changes in 6.2 and 7.2 are so minor that they are same as manufacturing same device in 2 different storage/RAM options.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Ah yes, the software, I had forgotten about that. You are probably right. Since HMD needs to do this themselves now, or find another contractor to make them a build suitable for China (although I'm sure that Evenwell would still do it, if they price was right!), this is probably the main blocking point.
    I think that the 6.2 and 7.2 are also not made by FIH Mobile, so we probably won't see them in China either.
    Interesting that you say the 4.2 is not smooth, I thought that HMD's software was getting better, at least that's what I was told about the 8.1 compared to the 8.
    Very interesting about the prototypes that were seen, I wonder who that might have been...! They were made in India? Do you know who made them? Does this related to the GitHub issue you raised on my repo?
    Cheers :)
  • nitin kachare nitin kachare
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited September 22
    madbilly said:
    Hi all,
    It's been a few months since the X71 was launched in China and Taiwan and the 2.2 isn't available there yet, not even listed on the Nokia phones websites for those countries. Last year HMD launched several models which were specifically for China - the X5, X6, X7 and Chinese version of the 3.1 plus, but this year so far only the X71. Also, those models last year had global variants as well, whereas the X71 has no global variant.
    So what's going on?
    I have wondered for a long time if the Chinese operation of Nokia Phones was run separately from the global operation, and the divergence this year suggests that this might be the case. Is this to do with the change in relationship between HMD and FIH Mobile? Do FIH essentially run the operation in China, and HMD have decided they don't agree with the FIH approach so that's why we don't see both Global and Chinese variants of the X71 and 2.2?
    Maybe we will learn soon as we see what happens following the launch of the new phones today.
    Cheers :)
    Don't know but in 2019 only one chinese device launched in china i.e.X71 and none of other which is plus devices in global market last year and 8.1(X7).
    Might they are working on 5G phones so avoiding 4G phones which couldn't go longer sales like old models in china.If this true then they will launch first 5G phone in china in Q1 2019.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi @nitin kachare! That's good thinking, maybe it's an intentional move to make space for 5G in China.
    Cheers :)
  • Muser Muser
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    madbilly said:
    Hi all,
    It's been a few months since the X71 was launched in China and Taiwan and the 2.2 isn't available there yet, not even listed on the Nokia phones websites for those countries. Last year HMD launched several models which were specifically for China - the X5, X6, X7 and Chinese version of the 3.1 plus, but this year so far only the X71. Also, those models last year had global variants as well, whereas the X71 has no global variant.
    So what's going on?
    I have wondered for a long time if the Chinese operation of Nokia Phones was run separately from the global operation, and the divergence this year suggests that this might be the case. Is this to do with the change in relationship between HMD and FIH Mobile? Do FIH essentially run the operation in China, and HMD have decided they don't agree with the FIH approach so that's why we don't see both Global and Chinese variants of the X71 and 2.2?
    Maybe we will learn soon as we see what happens following the launch of the new phones today.
    Cheers :)
    Don't know but in 2019 only one chinese device launched in china i.e.X71 and none of other which is plus devices in global market last year and 8.1(X7).
    Might they are working on 5G phones so avoiding 4G phones which couldn't go longer sales like old models in china.If this true then they will launch first 5G phone in china in Q1 2019.
    Didn't the 9 PureView launch in China? IIRC there was a user here from China who purchased one.
  • nitin kachare nitin kachare
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    Muser said:
    madbilly said:
    Hi all,
    It's been a few months since the X71 was launched in China and Taiwan and the 2.2 isn't available there yet, not even listed on the Nokia phones websites for those countries. Last year HMD launched several models which were specifically for China - the X5, X6, X7 and Chinese version of the 3.1 plus, but this year so far only the X71. Also, those models last year had global variants as well, whereas the X71 has no global variant.
    So what's going on?
    I have wondered for a long time if the Chinese operation of Nokia Phones was run separately from the global operation, and the divergence this year suggests that this might be the case. Is this to do with the change in relationship between HMD and FIH Mobile? Do FIH essentially run the operation in China, and HMD have decided they don't agree with the FIH approach so that's why we don't see both Global and Chinese variants of the X71 and 2.2?
    Maybe we will learn soon as we see what happens following the launch of the new phones today.
    Cheers :)
    Don't know but in 2019 only one chinese device launched in china i.e.X71 and none of other which is plus devices in global market last year and 8.1(X7).
    Might they are working on 5G phones so avoiding 4G phones which couldn't go longer sales like old models in china.If this true then they will launch first 5G phone in china in Q1 2019.
    Didn't the 9 PureView launch in China? IIRC there was a user here from China who purchased one.
    Nokia 9 Pure View isn't designed specifically for china.In China HMD launch X Series Variant specifically for China.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Cheers :)
  • madbilly madbilly
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    I just noticed that at some point in the past few weeks or months Nestor Xu has left HMD. He was head of the Greater China part of HMD which I presume has now been taken over by Ajey Mehta.
    More signs that HMD is not focussing on China so much?
    Cheers :)
  • singhnsk singhnsk
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    madbilly said:
    I just noticed that at some point in the past few weeks or months Nestor Xu has left HMD. He was head of the Greater China part of HMD which I presume has now been taken over by Ajey Mehta.
    More signs that HMD is not focussing on China so much?
    Cheers :)
    Ahh, nice notice there. Given the nature of Chinese market and the language and social barriers, I can say with full confidence that Ajey cannot fit that role. Sure, he can overlook basic agreements such as procuring supplies, but he cannot lead a team for offering sales and services in that region.
    Moreover, China is just too hard to compete, even for leaders like Apple itself. The local competition is so fierce. It kinda becomes pointless selling Chinese product to Chinese users for a price that's higher than the similar goods from the local Chinese companies 😅
    I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to reduce the focus on India too. India can bring them volumes, but it cannot bring them enough margins. India can remain their manufacturing and export hub though, given the issues with China and more and more companies switching to manufacturing at other regions.
    Long term impact would be that the Chinese companies will not be able to steal as much R&D as they were doing earlier since the lack of manufacturing will reduce their knowhow of future advances or will increase their investments (which will mean Chinese companies will have to charge more for the final product). Even if the manufacturing is conducted in other countries by Chinese companies (FIH etc), the R&D will be slightly more protected with stricter actions against patent infringements and selling of confidential data.
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited October 22
    Nice insight there :smiley: If HMD remain serious about China then there must be a dedicated team for China working for Ajey, but I think this must be the case for all regions and countries, e.g. do you think Ajey will work directly with people in Indonesia? Vietnam?
    I just checked Nestor's LinkedIn profile and it says he's still at HMD so maybe there's just been some organisational changes or maybe he hasn't updated it yet. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nestorxu/
    Your point about the wider manufacturing market is interesting. Of course, FIH Mobile is not a Chinese company, it is Taiwanese (listed on the HK stock exchange I think), but most of its smartphones and maybe R&D are in China, so this means they are of course affected by these things. However, aren't Wingtech, Huaqin and Longcheer all companies based in China? If so this may mean FIH Mobile becomes more interested in making phones for HMD again.
    Let's see ;)

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