With Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF) having unveiled their new flagship smartphones, the meaning of the subtle move Nokia’s (NOK) smartphone partner, HMD Global, made earlier this year becomes clearer.
In June, HMD Global moved to bring Zeiss optics back to the Nokia brand, implying that HMD Global was positioning itself for a potentially blistering camera war with smartphone rivals.
HMD Global is the company that Nokia licensed to produce and sell smartphones under its Nokia brand. As such, Nokia isn’t directly involved in the manufacture of new Nokia smartphones. The arrangement between Nokia and HMD Global mimic the deal between BlackBerry (BBRY) and Chinese manufacturer TCL Communication.
Emphasis on camera
Looking at the emphasis that Apple and Samsung have put on the camera feature in their new flagship smartphones, we find that HMD Global made a wise decision to reunite Nokia and Zeiss to build more powerful cameras in new Nokia phones.
Zeiss technology enables HMD Global to produce phones with front and rear cameras that can shoot videos or photos simultaneously, resulting in more appealing images or clips to share on social media.
Camera become a battlefront
Apple and Samsung have also built impressive camera features into their iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 flagships, respectively. As the competition continues to heat up in the smartphone market, cameras have become an important battlefront.
According to research firm IDC, camera quality ranks among the top ten influencers of smartphone purchase decisions. It’s no wonder smartphone makers like Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, Microsoft (MSFT), and Xiaomi are dedicating a lot of resources to camera upgrades in their new smartphones.