At this year’s Mobile World Congress, HMD Global announced four new additions to its portfolio of Android smartphones, namely the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6 and Nokia 1.
It has also “reloaded” the iconic Nokia 8110 feature phone, with 4G connectivity, apps including Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Search, Facebook and Twitter, and the return of the slider phone.
HMD Global also announced it is to become Google’s first global partner to have a full suite of devices selected into the Android One programme. “The unwavering commitment to deliver a pure, secure and up-to-date Android experience has ensured Nokia smartphones were a natural fit for the global programme,” said a company statement.
HMD Global provided the following information:
Three new Nokia smartphones – the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and the new Nokia 6 – join the Android One family, offering a high quality software experience designed by Google. Each phone will stay fresh over time with the latest AI powered innovations to the highest grade of security from Google. With a pure Android installation, Nokia smartphones come with no unnecessary UI changes or hidden processes that would eat up battery life or slow them down so you can enjoy your new phone for longer. Each of the new phones comes with a limited number of pre-installed apps so that you’ll get more storage space, as well as the latest innovations that help you stay ahead of the game every day.
By shipping with Android Oreo out of the box, you’ll be able to enjoy the latest features, including Picture-in-Picture for multitasking, Android Instant Apps to discover and run apps with minimal friction, 60 fantastic new emojis and battery-maximising features like limiting background app use.
Introducing four new Nokia Android smartphones and expansion of the portfolio:
Nokia 8 Sirocco: an ultra-compact powerhouse for the fans
Inspired by the rich design heritage of Nokia phones, the Nokia 8 Sirocco’s elegant design and compact style is the ideal blend of precise craftsmanship and purposeful innovation. Delivering powerful storytelling features including enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics and carefully tuned acoustics with Nokia spatial audio, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is an ultra-compact powerhouse, and our most beautiful smartphone to date.
Its curved glass finish envelops a precision-crafted stainless-steel frame to deliver a fusion of strength and beauty. Just 2mm thin at the edge, the Nokia 8 Sirocco combines a curved edge-to-edge pOLED 2K 5.5-inch display with smaller bezels and moulded body curves to create an ultra-compact profile.
Its stainless steel frame is 2.5 times stronger than 6000 series aluminium, and its 3D Corning® Gorilla Glass 5 is robust enough to endure life’s everyday knocks. Luxuriously weighted and perfectly balanced, it feels more secure in your hand thanks to the improved grip given by the dual diamond-polished stainless steel frame.
Now capture every detail thanks to the Nokia 8 Sirocco’s dual rear sensors with ZEISS optics that combine an ultra-sensitive, wide angle primary camera for impressive low-light performance and a secondary 13MP sensor with 2x optical zoom. And with Pro Camera mode you get full manual control over every picture you take, helping you capture photos like a pro.
Available from early April, the Nokia 8 Sirocco will retail for a global average retail price of €749, excluding taxes and subsidies.
Nokia 7 Plus: the flagship hero for everyone
Made for creators to deliver stunning content, the Nokia 7 Plus has the screen, power, design and features to make it a true hero in our smartphone range. Combining innovative optical hardware and imaging algorithms, the Nokia 7 Plus captures moments into photos that are true to life. With enhanced Dual-Sight, dual rear sensors with ZEISS optics combine an ultra-sensitive 12MP wide-angle primary camera for excellent performance in both low-light and extra bright conditions and a secondary 13MP camera that delivers 2x optical zoom for the moments when you wish you were closer.
To enable you to capture and enjoy more content for longer, the Nokia 7 Plus is backed by the powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 660 Mobile Platform. It’s been optimised and integrated for maximum performance and battery life, even when you are broadcasting your #Bothie videos live on Facebook or YouTube. Optimised to extract every bit of juice from the already powerful 3800 mAh battery, the Nokia 7 Plus delivers an amazing 2-day battery life.
Its gently curved back and slim edges give you a big-screen experience in a comfortable, neat package. The vivid 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ display makes the Nokia 7 Plus perfect for browsing, social media consumption, gaming and entertainment with more content in the same width as a traditional 5.5-inch display device.
Available in a choice of two colour blends, Black/Copper and White/Copper, the Nokia 7 Plus will go on sale from early April and will retail for a global average retail price of €399, excluding taxes and subsidies.
The New Nokia 6: our award-winning phone just got even better
Building on the success of its predecessor, the New Nokia 6 packs even more powerful performance and great new features in a more compact, durable body. Over 60% faster than its award-winning predecessor, it now offers enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, a more compact screen-to-body ratio, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.
The New Nokia 6 takes the original’s precision craftsmanship to the next level by combining a unibody, made from a solid block of 6000 series aluminium, with an 11-hour two-tone anodising and polishing process. And by uniting a sculpted 2.5D display with damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, the New Nokia 6’s compact and refined body is built to last.
Our engineers have integrated the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 Mobile Platform to deliver fast and smooth performance alongside great day-long battery life.
Available in three slick colour blends: Black/Copper, White/Iron and Blue/Gold, as well as two configurations of 3GB RAM/32GB ROM, which will be available in early April, or 4GB RAM/64GB ROM coming later, the New Nokia 6[ii] will go on sale in early April and will retail for a global average retail price of €279 excluding taxes and subsidies.
Nokia 1: a complete Nokia smartphone experience, accessible to everyone
The Nokia 1 is a breakthrough in accessible technology, delivering smartphone essentials with the reassuring quality you expect of a Nokia phone and a refreshingly familiar design to fans around the world. Giving more people access to technology, it comes with Android Oreo™ (Go edition), a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less. The Nokia 1 is designed to be smooth and responsive, with full access to the Google Play™ Store so you can find all your favourite apps from WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to mobile banking while also highlighting apps that are optimised for Android Oreo (Go edition).
Featuring the iconic ‘Nokia smile’ in a fresh new package, you can give your Nokia 1 a makeover thanks to the popular Xpress-on covers, available in a range of vibrant colours. Simply click on and off in seconds to express your personal style with these exchangeable covers. Each cover has been built with the same precision and attention to detail as the phone’s original cover. Inherently coloured, the tough two-tone polycarbonate cover is ready to take on every day knocks and bumps with its durable design.
Available from early April in Warm Red and Dark Blue to fans around the world, the Nokia 1 will retail for a global average retail price of $85, excluding taxes and subsidies. Xpress-on covers, sold separately, are available from $7.99 in Azure, Grey, Yellow and Pink.
For the Originals: Reloading Nokia 8110
Reloading the legendary Nokia 8110, this 4G feature phone comes complete with the iconic curved slider design. Giving you the chance to switch off, have fun and relax with the knowledge that all your smartphone essentials are there when you need them.
With a familiar and easy to use interface, it features intuitive tactile mechanics, with slide to answer and end calls, as well as an addictive helicopter style spin on its axis. Nokia 8110 comes with the craftsmanship you expect from a Nokia phone, delivering durability and reliability as standard. Nokia 8110 delivers crystal-clear VoLTE calling and is perfect for anyone who wants an iconic 4G feature phone or a companion phone. With access to an app store, for favourites like Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook and Twitter, send and receive emails or import your contacts and sync your calendar with Outlook and Gmail. To keep it running flawlessly, the Nokia 8110 features the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform. And yes, it comes with a revamped version of Snake.
With two vibrant colours to choose from, Traditional Black and Banana Yellow, the Nokia 8110 will be available from May and will retail for a global average retail price of €79, excluding taxes and subsidies.
Florian Seiche, CEO of HMD Global, said:
“This time last year, we started our journey with huge expectations from fans and a massive responsibility to deliver on the legacy of one of the most innovative brands in our space. Since then we have reintroduced well-loved icons, forged partnerships with friends old and new and delivered our pure, secure and up-to-date Android experience across our smartphone portfolio. Last year we shipped over 70 million Nokia phones.
“As we’ve expanded our portfolio we’ve always maintained one vision: to deliver great Nokia phones that live up to the values that our fans expect. It has been an exhilarating time and as we look ahead, we plan to build on our success by expanding our portfolio and giving consumers a wide range of Nokia phones they can love, trust and rely on.”
Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, said:
“Today, we are delighted to announce the expansion of our range with the introduction of five new devices, setting new benchmarks in smartphone design with Nokia 8 Sirocco and delivering our most accessible smartphone to date in Nokia 1.
“Through these new devices, you’ll see our innovative approach to engineering and our strong legacy in imaging coming to the forefront in collaboration with ZEISS. And you will recognise our best in class materials led design and the distinctive finish throughout the portfolio which delivers all the reliability and durability expected of a Nokia phone.
“We pride ourselves on making smartphones that address real-world needs. Our commitment to pure, secure and up-to-date Android is core to our strategy and is loved by consumers. Today, we take that commitment to a deeper level by becoming the lead partner for the Android One programme globally, delivering an experience that is endorsed by Google.”
Pekka Rantala, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of HMD Global, said:
“A smartphone is an everyday partner and something people need to know they can rely on. Last year we promised that we would deliver on all the hallmarks of a true Nokia phone experience and that we would live up to the trust people have in the Nokia brand. This year, we are delighted to join the Android One programme that reinforces our commitment to pure, secure and up-to-date Android and makes us a natural choice. Today, with our expanded portfolio, we feel every consumer can pick a Nokia phone they can truly rely on.”
Jamie Rosenberg, VP, Business & Operations, Android & Google Play:
“Android One is our flagship partner programme, and this comprehensive line-up of new Nokia smartphones represents our biggest partnership to date. Now, users around the world can find the perfect device to fit their needs and know they’re getting a high-quality hardware and software experience that’s smart, secure, and simply amazing.”
VoD cuts the cord in SA
Some 20% of South Africans who sign up for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix or Showmax do so with the intention of cancelling their pay television subscription.
That’s according to GfK’s international ViewScape survey*, which this year covers Africa (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) for the first time.
The study—which surveyed 1,250 people representative of urban South African adults with Internet access—shows that 90% of the country’s online adults today use at least one online video service and that just over half are paying to view digital online content. The average user spends around 7 hours and two minutes a day consuming video content, with broadcast television accounting for just 42% of the time South Africans spend in front of a screen.
Consumers in South Africa spend nearly as much of their daily viewing time – 39% of the total – watching free digital video sources such as YouTube and Facebook as they do on linear television. People aged 18 to 24 years spend more than eight hours a day watching video content as they tend to spend more time with free digital video than people above their age.
Says Benjamin Ballensiefen, managing director for Sub Sahara Africa at GfK: “The media industry is experiencing a revolution as digital platforms transform viewers’ video consumption behaviour. The GfK ViewScape study is one of the first to not only examine broadcast television consumption in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, but also to quantify how linear and online forms of content distribution fit together in the dynamic world of video consumption.”
The study finds that just over a third of South African adults are using streaming video on demand (SVOD) services, with only 16% of SVOD users subscribing to multiple services. Around 23% use per-pay-view platforms such as DSTV Box Office, while about 10% download pirated content from the Internet. Around 82% still sometimes watch content on disc-based media.
“Linear and non-linear television both play significant roles in South Africa’s video landscape, though disruption from digital players poses a growing threat to the incumbents,” says Molemo Moahloli, general manager for media research & regional business development at GfK Sub Sahara Africa. “Among most demographics, usage of paid online content is incremental to consumption of linear television, but there are signs that younger consumers are beginning to substitute SVOD for pay-television subscriptions.”
New data rules raise business trust challenges
When the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on May 25th, financial services firms will face a new potential threat to their on-going challenges with building strong customer relationships, writes DARREL ORSMOND, Financial Services Industry Head at SAP Africa.
The regulation – dubbed GDPR for short – is aimed at giving European citizens control back over their personal data. Any firm that creates, stores, manages or transfers personal information of an EU citizen can be held liable under the new regulation. Non-compliance is not an option: the fines are steep, with a maximum penalty of €20-million – or nearly R300-million – for transgressors.
GDPR marks a step toward improved individual rights over large corporates and states that prevents the latter from using and abusing personal information at their discretion. Considering the prevailing trust deficit – one global EY survey found that 60% of global consumers worry about hacking of bank accounts or bank cards, and 58% worry about the amount of personal and private data organisations have about them – the new regulation comes at an opportune time. But it is almost certain to cause disruption to normal business practices when implemented, and therein lies both a threat and an opportunity.
The fundamentals of trust
GDPR is set to tamper with two fundamental factors that can have a detrimental effect on the implicit trust between financial services providers and their customers: firstly, customers will suddenly be challenged to validate that what they thought companies were already doing – storing and managing their personal data in a manner that is respectful of their privacy – is actually happening. Secondly, the outbreak of stories relating to companies mistreating customer data or exposing customers due to security breaches will increase the chances that customers now seek tangible reassurance from their providers that their data is stored correctly.
The recent news of Facebook’s indiscriminate sharing of 50 million of its members’ personal data to an outside firm has not only led to public outcry but could cost the company $2-trillion in fines should the Federal Trade Commission choose to pursue the matter to its fullest extent. The matter of trust also extends beyond personal data: in EY’s 2016 Global Consumer Banking Survey, less than a third of respondents had complete trust that their banks were being transparent about fees and charges.
This is forcing companies to reconsider their role in building and maintaining trust with its customers. In any customer relationship, much is done based on implicit trust. A personal banking customer will enjoy a measure of familiarity that often provides them with some latitude – for example when applying for access to a new service or an overdraft facility – that can save them a lot of time and energy. Under GDPR and South Africa’s POPI act, this process is drastically complicated: banks may now be obliged to obtain permission to share customer data between different business units (for example because they are part of different legal entities and have not expressly received permission). A customer may now allow banks to use their personal data in risk scoring models, but prevent them from determining whether they qualify for private banking services.
What used to happen naturally within standard banking processes may be suddenly constrained by regulation, directly affecting the bank’s relationship with its customers, as well as its ability to upsell to existing customers.
The risk of compliance
Are we moving to an overly bureaucratic world where even the simplest action is subject to a string of onerous processes? Compliance officers are already embedded within every function in a typical financial services institution, as well as at management level. Often the reporting of risk processes sits outside formal line functions and end up going straight to the board. This can have a stifling effect on innovation, with potentially negative consequences for customer service.
A typical banking environment is already creaking under the weight of close to 100 acts, which makes it difficult to take the calculated risks needed to develop and launch innovative new banking products. Entire new industries could now emerge, focusing purely on the matter of compliance and associated litigation. GDPR already requires the services of Data Protection Officers, but the growing complexity of regulatory compliance could add a swathe of new job functions and disciplines. None of this points to the type of innovation that the modern titans of business are renowned for.
A three-step plan of action
So how must banks and other financial services firms respond? I would argue there are three main elements to successfully navigating the immediate impact of the new regulations:
Firstly, ensuring that the technologies you use to secure, manage and store personal data is sufficiently robust. Modern financial services providers have a wealth of customer data at their disposal, including unstructured data from non-traditional sources such as social media. The tools they use to process and safeguard this data needs to be able to withstand the threats posed by potential data breaches and malicious attacks.
Secondly, rethinking the core organisational processes governing their interactions with customers. This includes the internal measures for setting terms and conditions, how customers are informed of their intention to use their data, and how risk is assessed. A customer applying for medical insurance will disclose deeply personal information about themselves to the insurance provider: it is imperative the insurer provides reassurance that the customer’s data will be treated respectfully and with discretion and with their express permission.
Thirdly, financial services firms need to define a core set of principles for how they treat customers and what constitutes fair treatment. This should be an extension of a broader organisational focus on treating customers fairly, and can go some way to repairing the trust deficit between the financial services industry and the customers they serve.