...When Push Comes to Shove
The enthusiasm and aggressiveness displayed by Nokia for its Lumia launch indicates that the erstwhile leader in mobile devices is no quitter
The month of October saw Nokia unveiling its first set of Windows based mobile phones—the Lumia series—globally as well as in the Indian market. For the Indian event, the launch also saw the Finnish giant in new vigor, infused with fresh blood from software behemoth Microsoft. The Indian media had not seen Nokia in this avatar for a long time now. The kind of well orchestrated product unveiling the aggressiveness and buoyancy in Nokia India, the managing director, D Shivakumar’s speech and the product demonstration for most of its new features used to be a big miss in Nokia’s past events. However this time the entire atmosphere around the product launch was simply energetic. And it was not just the product unveiling, the Espoo based company ensured all the elements around the devices be in place. Nokia made sure that around 12,000 employees get trained properly and are present at various Nokia sales centers to explain the various features of the phones to the prospective customers. Microsoft and Nokia, both have internal as well as collaborative plans for the promotion of Windows based Nokia devices. The company also modified and gave an entirely new look to 5,000 of its existing retail outlets and deployed a specialized field sales force to pass on the Lumia experience. Besides, Nokia in collaboration with 1,000 developers put 700 local applications in the Windows marketplace that boasts of having around 35,000 apps.
Both the companies, especially Nokia looks more serious this time and appeared in a combative mood. It wanted to show it was the leader and it would not let go that tag away any time soon and at least not that easily. However things do not turn around that easy when you are on a downward trend with competitors galore and the competition is getting fierce every passing day. One has to put in more efforts that is required when there is a uphill task, but Nokia with Lumia did not give that impression. To woo the customers and bring back the loyal followers, a company like Nokia should have brought some uniqueness to the table but both the devices of the Lumia series do not give the customer anything significant, it does not make the customer feel special. Price of a product and more importantly value for money has and will always be the deciding factor to go for a product. But in the case of Lumia, Nokia fails to fulfill any.
Neither in terms of features nor in terms of price, Nokia Lumia could woo the customers.
Lumia 800 features a 3.7 inch display—leading Android models moved to 4 to 4.5 inch display size some time ago
Lumia 800 features pixel density of 250 ppi—about 80 below where new Apple, Samsung and, HTC models are
Lumia 800 is 12 mm thick—about 40-70% thicker than the new wave of smartphones from Apple, Samsung, and Motorola
Lumia 800 features only a single-core processor vs the dual-core chips from rival high-end smartphones
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Lumia 800 does not feature LTE support, a front-facing camera or NFC technology, which is now arriving to cutting-edge Android models
No doubt, the Nokia Lumia is a great phone as appeared from the preliminary use and at par with the smartphones availability in the market in that price range of around Rs 30,000. Nokia can claim that if one can buy a smartphone at that price from a different vendor then why not from us? Well, the credibility of Windows phone comes as a big dampener. Nokia does not have to prove a point, it has been the leader so far but Microsoft’s mobile OS have never been a success when compared to the acceptance of Apple or Android OS. So, the customers would hesitate couple of times before putting $600 for a device that is as new as now, rather they would prefer to go for a product that is tested.
So, the big question for Nokia is how to drag those prospective customers for a Lumia experience.
Nokia has to think out-of-the-box as well as put some more features in the device that is there in the box to get some new attention. Typically, you run twice faster to catch up if you have missed a single step in the race.