Nokia to be Back in Stores in June

Brand li­censee HMD to launch new smart­phones and iconic 3310

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire -

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.

ANIR­BAN

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