Nokia to be Back in Stores in June
Brand licensee HMD to launch new smartphones and iconic 3310
Romit Guha & Gulveen Aulakh
Barcelona | New Delhi: The new range of Nokia branded smartphones and the iconic 3310 will be available in India by June, at prices likely lower than those globally and all the devices will be made locally. Arto Nummela, HMD Global chief executive officer, told ET that Foxconn will make all models sold in the market locally as the company aims to take a place amongst top smartphone players in the coming years.
The Finnish manufacturer will play on the brand recall in India — its top focus — which Nummela said is more than that in China.
“We will use the partnership with Foxconn to manufacture in India, and all phones that are sold in India will be made in India,” said Nummela, adding that all products will be available across offline and online channels. HMD Global, which is the exclusive licensee of Nokia brand of phones and tablets, will use existing offline retail channels that erstwhile belonged to Microsoft, and is talking to potential online partners for selling the new phones in India. On Sunday, it launched the Nokia 3310 feature phones priced at ₹ 3,457, and Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 smartphones with Google Assistant, at ₹ 9,805, ₹ 13,332 and ₹ 16,154, respectively.
“We have disclosed the global average prices, but I expect them to be lower in India,” the CEO said without sharing the shaved off prices for the fastest growing smartphone market.
However, analysts and industry watchers say that Nokia will have a tough time in the market given the intense competition in the price categories that Nokia will launch its phones.
“It will be challenging for Nokia, since in the Indian market specs to price equation is most important still, and the market is much more competitive now and unforgiving,” said Navkendar Singh, senior analyst at International Data Corporation (IDC) India. Micromax chief marketing officer Shubhajit Sen said that nostalgia that Nokia phones had with them would be limited to people who have already moved to smartphones in the midto-premium segments. Very few may downgrade to Nokia feature phones, even though the category makes up more than half the local market.
The situation could worsen when Reliance Jio launches its low-cost 4G VoLTE feature phones — potentially priced at ₹ 999-1,500 — as consumers may see more value in buying future ready phones with free calling.
“We’re following the development (4G feature phone) very closely, and we have been talking to Jio on this as well as on the general landscape of 4G feature phones,” Nummela said.