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HMD Global: Exclusive interview with Adam Ferguson

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In an exclusive interview, Adam Ferguson, Global Head of Proposition, Partner and Product Marketing for HMD Global, discusses concerns around mobile security and insights from the recent Counterpoint Research.
  1. With a considerable growth in smartphone usage each year, the concerns around mobile security increase with it. What can brands do for added security, moreover what is Nokia doing different in this space?

Naturally, we see the adoption of new social and working habits progress over time. However, in times of crisis, we see the most significant leaps in the next steps in businesses operations; for example the 2008 recession saw a jump in people moving towards self-employment. In the same spirit of adoption and change, personal devices such as mobiles and laptops have started to play an essential role, and have increasing importance and status, in the working world. However, with more personal devices in use by workers, this has led to the growth in cybercrime in 2020.

Ransomware such as CovidLock would mimic track and trace applications under the guise of tracking COVID-19 patients, but instead, it would lock users out of their device unless they paid hundreds of dollars in bitcoins. Phishing attacks through WhatsApp messages and fraudulent emails increased fivefold by cybercriminals masking themselves as the World Health Organisation. As we adapt to our new normal, we should also expect the same behaviour from nefarious sources; software security should be the number one priority for brands in the mobile phone industry.

And as you can see from the Counterpoint study Android Vulnerability fixes in 2020 significantly increased in March when lockdowns around the world started being enforced and screen time, social media usage, and phone usage significantly increased, and in turn, so did cybercrime.

In 2020 Nokia phones were named as the leader in Counterpoint’s Brand Trust rankings based on our software, security and build quality. We offer up to two sets of Android upgrades and three years of monthly security updates. As shown by the research, we’re one of the only brands to offer promises like these across not only higher end devices, but mid and lower tier phones as well. We were also named as the leader of security patch updates in 2020.

Our pure, secure and up-to-date unique Android promise, means we don’t just make the sale, we look after you for the long-term.

  1. Nokia was back in the scene through HMD Global in 2016, what were some of the key features or go-to market offerings that you relaunched with?

We are humbled by the endless support from our fans in the region and we take pride in our unique partner-led business model. Over the years, we have strengthened our partnerships with key industry players including Google, ZEISS, Qualcomm and of course, Nokia, to continuously deliver great value to consumers.

We have reimagined well-loved and well-known Nokia phone classics with enhanced performance and features that answer the current consumer needs. We’ve also launched innovative smartphones with unique propositions and the latest technology, while remaining true to our Finnish roots and the hallmarks that our customers trust Nokia phones to be synonymous with.

We are innovating in key segments and remain committed to delivering purposeful technology available to everyone and across all price points while offering devices which are kept secure and up-to-date. This unique quality, as well as our partnership model, gives us positive momentum in creating a more connected world.

  1. Please share some insights from the recent Counterpoint Research that heaped praises for Nokia phones?

Counterpoint Research trust rankings are underpinned by four pillars, including software, security, build quality, and enterprise-recommended devices. This year’s report highlights that Nokia phones lead the global rankings in providing the fastest software and security updates, with the highest share of portfolio recommended for enterprises. This is particularly relevant as regular software and security updates not only enhance the overall device experience, but also help devices retain their value over time.

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