The Dual-sim king
For the first time the company has shown negative growth, the blame goes to low Lumia uptake and non-aggressive approach on smartphones
It was a mixed year for Nokia as the company took a beating on smartphones but increased its market share in dual-SIM by becoming a clear leader. The overall revenue numbers have slightly gone down as Nokia is not the first choice in smartphones but the company has performed well in feature phones and has also in exports.
The fightback for dual-SIM paid off as the company launched a range of handsets. The company announced Nokia Asha 202, a dual-SIM touch & type phone designed for enhanced and costeffective web browsing. Also Nokia Asha 200, a stylish QWERTY and Nokia X2-02. It also introduced the innovative, stylish, and affordable Nokia C2-00 dual-SIM internet phone and Nokia X1-01 dualSIM music phone. And touch & type slider phones, Nokia C2-03 and Nokia C2-06. Nokia C2-03 was also introduced allowing the user to personalize up to 5 SIM cards. A premium version is also available with Nokia C2-06. The company also launched the most affordable Nokia 101 dual-SIM music.
On smartphones, Nokia launched Asha 303, a stunning touch & type with QWERTY keypad and Nokia E6 and Nokia X7, aimed at business professionals and entertainment enthusiasts. In April 2011, Nokia and Microsoft formalized Windows Phone as the primary smartphone platform and the company had a lot of expectations from Lumia series as it was a turning point for Nokia in India. In terms of investment, it was one of the biggest launch in the fiscal for any handset brand. Nokia Lumia 800 and the Nokia Lumia 710 based on Windows platform were launched on Mecember 15, 2011, but the response was not as per the expectations due to high price of the handset.
On the apps side, the company has a strong position as it has more than 200,000 app developers and over 60 mn downloads a month. The Nokia Store is presently the largest app store in India with over 50% of all downloads. The company is also supporting apps developers with tools and insights so that they can come up with more innovative applications.
The company has launched many useful apps such as Nokia maps & drive, real-time traffic service, city lens, Nokia transport, etc. Nokia maps & drive delivers a full-fledged voice guided navigation device in 50 languages for 2,195 cities in India. Real-time traffic service gives traffic update for Melhi and Mumbai to get more accurate routes and better estimated travel timings.
City lens gives users an easier way to find nearby locations through augmented reality or through a simple map view whereas Nokia transport makes available local public transport information for 11 cities.
Available in 12 languages, the SMS based Nokia life service offers services in areas of parenting, life skills, education, health, entertainment, and agriculture. The company has also launched traffic management project called ‘3rdEYE’ in Gurgaon aimed to curb traffic violation.
The Chennai facility is the largest facility in the world and on May 5, 2011, crossed production of 500 mn handsets. The company achieved its milestone in the fifth year. Presently, the company is exporting handsets to 50 countries.
Nokia’s success in the smartphone market will depend on its ability to introduce attractive, competitively priced products on Windows platform phone that are differentiated from competitors, but one has to see how the new Lumia series fares against Samsung, Apple, HTC, and Blackberry. Getting to number one position in the smartphone industry would not be easy, but it would be make or break for Nokia India.
But the Finnish telecom giant has to put up a brave fight in order to reclaim its lost glory. It has to bring out a complete change in perspective in how it is going to do business in India in the coming years. Innovative products, focused R&M, improved customer care, quality brand campaign, and a bit of luck are what the company desperately needs now.
Nokia, the name that is still synonymous with mobile phones in many parts of the world and in India, though in a tight spot at present, but looking at its potential, it would not be surprising to see the leader run past its competitors in times to come.