The nokia reconnection
Iconic brand returns to the Philippines, focusing on the smartphone biz.
Can you share with us some important highlights since Nokia re-entered the Philippine market?
Nokia in the Philippines re-entered as a brand with HMD Global in the first week of December last year. Over the first few months of this year, we started to set up operations, including recruitment, appointment of distributors, and market research. This year, we also brought a range of feature phones to our portfolio for the Philippine market such as the Nokia 105, 115, and the iconic 3310. We are incredibly satisfied with the demand for the 3310. It actually resulted in continuing stock-out situations, leading us to introduce the 3G version at PHP 2,790, with charcoal and azure as new color options.
The biggest news from us in July was when we introduced the smartphone portfolio. We’ve already introduced four Android models into the market the Nokia 3, 5, 6, and more recently the 8 as the more affordable flagship at PHP 29,990. We are focusing now at the Nokia 2 which was recently announced with a 4100mah battery. For the first time, Nokia smartphones are actually on Android, and that is the most exciting thing for us because Nokia as a brand is well-known and well-loved for years. There has always been this discussion of what if Nokia was on Android would it have survived or would it have maintained. We’re really excited to bring back Nokia to the Philippines.
The Philippines is known as the “Selfie Capital of the World” and other brands are banking on it. Are you also using photography as the key selling point of Nokia smartphones?
There are two elements that we have introduced to the Nokia 8, one of which is Carl Zeiss which has been associated with flagship Nokia products for many years. It is not just about how many megapixels are present. Combining optics and software, it actually enables you to have great photographs whether it is the front or the rear camera. An interesting feature that we have introduced to the Nokia 8 is the bothie mode. So the concept that we have said is that Why would you do
selfie, if you could do bothie?, where you are being able to use the front and rear cameras at the same time. If you are going to the video mode, you can actually post the output straight to Facebook or Youtube. So in an interview such as this, you can actually set the camera right in the middle of us and have a great time video streaming. We are actually seeing some bloggers and people pick up that concept already, so we can actually see your emotion or your response as well as the content that you are responding to.
Every consumer looks to something smartly different and I think that photography is a general consensus that people will use. Some people will use a smartphone to take some photos. On the other hand, some will use it to watch content, listen to Spotify, or talk and text. What we have been able to do across the range of portfolio is to ensure that you get all of those experiences at varying levels based on what the you have set, so that you will have a great experience no matter the price point, but of course imaging is important.
What is the key message of Nokia’s return to the Philippine market?
What is Nokia meant to you in the past 15 to 20 years as a brand is one of the things that I would love to talk about with people. It seems that there is this kind of connection like people remember their first text to their boyfriend or girlfriend. When I had the opportunity to be here in the Philippines to study the market and I started hearing from consumers and meeting with dealers, there was this kind of smile that you couldn’t wipe off from their face when you mention the Nokia brand. Once I met a dealer and he was talking to me on how as a dealer on the moment when he was selling Nokia phones 15 years ago. He was able to put his son to a culinary school in New York. Now, his son is back here and is opening a restaurant. It is one of those stories that actually help you realize that what we’re actually doing here is kind of cool.
We’re not just a new brand that is coming in, trying to sell phones, and competing with other brands. Nokia has always been a human brand and I believe on what it offers to the consumers. That is more than just how the sales are going but it is actually what you can do in the community and for the community. We are here to reconnect Nokia’s brand identity to the Filipinos.