Nokia phone manufacturer eyes larger East African market

HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche
HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Nokia phone maker HMD Global is eyeing the larger East African market with Kenya as its base.

Speaking during a press briefing, HMD Global Chief Executive Florian Seiche said Kenya was a key market for the new brand of Nokia devices and act as a hub.

“South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are the key markets in Africa. We want to build our own presence in the three hubs. In Kenya we will deepen partnerships and develop other East African markets such as Uganda and Tanzania from here,” said Mr Seiche.

The HMD Global management team has been on a tour in Kenya meeting regulators and government officials in a bid to widen its grasp of the competitive mobile devices market.

According to Mr Seiche, feature phones remain a key focus point for the year in Kenya following the performance of devices such as the Nokia C1.


“We want to offer products that are relevant to key markets. Feature phones remain key in focus,” he said.

heavy competition

The device maker is looking to grow its current market share to 10 percent locally despite heavy competition in the smartphone segment by Asian manufacturers.

The local mid-market smartphone segment has been dominated by Huawei, Tecno and Oppo, which target the trendy mass market with feature-loaded devices.

The devices have come loaded with high megapixel cameras, large screens and social media apps.

The Nokia maker said it had lined up new stylish devices, which would be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, targeting the trendy market.

HMD has also been pushing its devices for business use focusing on the regular security updates across the entire range.

Mr Seiche also appreciated the new consumer financing schemes in Kenya that facilitate users to buy devices on credit, repaying over a set duration.