TCS | Patrick Henchie on the past, present and future of Nokia phones

The rise and fall of Nokia’s mobile phone business has been well documented. Once dominant in the feature-phone era, the Finnish company was caught flat-footed by the launch of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android.
The acquisition of Nokia’s handset business by Microsoft – desperate at the time for its Windows Phone operating system to be a meaningful third player in smartphone software and also desperate for Nokia not to embrace Google’s Android – went awry.
Eventually, Microsoft exited the phone business entirely, selling the phone business back to Nokia (whose main business is selling telecommunications gear to network operators), writing off billions of dollars in the process, and leaving the mobile OS market as a virtual duopoly controlled by Apple and Google.
But the Nokia phone brand never went away. After the Microsoft collapse, a team ex-Nokia executives founded HMD Global, a Chinese-Finnish phone maker, and licensed the Nokia brand name to continue building smartphones – this time running Android.
In this episode of the TechCentral Show (TCS), Duncan McLeod is joined in TechCentral’s Johannesburg studio by Patrick Henchie, head of product and operations at HMD Global in sub-Saharan Africa, to unpack some of the history of the Nokia brand, how HMD got its start, the company’s market focus, and what’s coming next from the firm in both handsets and tablets.
In this TCS interview, Henchie talks about:
• His favourite legacy Nokia phone and why he loved it;
• HMD’s relationship with Google;
• Why the company does not compete directly with Apple and Samsung in top-tier flagship devices, preferring instead to cater to the mid-market and entry-level tiers;
• The Nokia phone line-up: the C series, G series and X series, and where they fit in HMD’s portfolio and in the market;
• What South Africans think of the Nokia brand today; and
• Why HMD still makes feature phones.
Don’t miss a fascinating discussion about a storied brand.
30 May 2023 English South Africa Technology · Business

Other recent episodes

TCS | The Volvo EX30 electric car, reviewed by an owner

The Volvo EX30 is undoubtedly one of the most exciting electric cars to be launched in South Africa in 2024. The vehicle, whose price starts at R792 000, offers a combination of price, performance and luxury tweaks that has attracted considerable appeal among South African consumers interested in making the…
24 Jul 57 min

TCS+ | CYBER1 Solutions and iiDENTIFii on combating identity theft in 2024

Identity theft is a massive and growing problem that requires smart risk mitigation strategies. That is one of the key messages coming out of a TechCentral TCS+ interview with executives from CYBER1 Solutions and iiDENTIFii. CYBER1 Solutions security architect Christiaan Swanepoel and iiDENTIFii co-founder and chief technology officer Marco Wagener…
22 Jul 40 min

TCS | Nomvuyiso Batyi on what needs fixing in SA telecoms

South Africa’s telecommunications industry is facing a barrage of threats, from crime and vandalism to power cuts and overreach by politicians. This is the word from Nomvuyiso Batyi, CEO of telecommunications industry lobby group the Association for Comms & Technology (ACT) and an industry stalwart who served as a councillor…
19 Jul 1 hr 01 min

TCS | Andy Higgins on the outlook for online shopping in South Africa

Andy Higgins, founder of e-commerce solutions company Bob Group, knows more about e-commerce in South Africa than most people. Higgins founded Bidorbuy (now Bob Shop) at the height of the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, and over the past 25 years has actively participated in the industry as it…
16 Jul 35 min

TCS+ | Zuko Mdwaba on Salesforce and its SA and Africa growth plans

Customer relationship management software giant Salesforce recently showcased the power of its latest artificial intelligence and cloud-based solutions to customers, partners and associates at Salesforce World Tour Essentials Johannesburg, held at the Kyalami Convention Centre in Midrand. In this episode of TechCentral’s business technology show, TCS+, Zuko Mdwaba, Salesforce area…
11 Jul 21 min