We have all been feeling a bit nostalgic ever since it was confirmed that Nokia mobile phones are set to make a return next year. HMD, which owns the exclusive rights, will be launching Nokia-branded smartphones and possibly a tablet sometime in the first half of 2017. Though the return of Nokia makes for a heart-warming story, HMD will have its work cut out to make a mark in the highly competitive smartphone market, and just banking on the Finnish company’s legacy won’t be enough. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 5G review: Looks fancy, runs fast but too priceyAlso Read - OnePlus Nord CE 5G new update brings optimisations for overheating, cameras improvements
Back in the day, Nokia dominated the global smartphone market, but since then the market dynamics have completely changed. Gone are the days when a brand name alone was enough to sway buying decisions. Tier-I companies like Samsung, HTC and Sony have had to face the brunt of Chinese players, and even homegrown companies like Micromax have seen their market shares steadily decline. These Chinese companies have proved that the product itself is much more important than the brand, and the likes of Xiaomi, and OnePlus are the best examples. From being unknown entities outside their home country, these companies have become household names in India. Xiaomi’s smartphones are currently dominating the sub-Rs 10,000 and sub-Rs 15,000 segments, while OnePlus‘ smartphones have made the term ‘flagship killer’ popular. Also Read - Micromax In 2b first impressions: A decent desi phone at budget
If the leaks are anything to go by, we can expect two premium Nokia Android smartphones, one tablet, and one affordable smartphone. HMD will be launching these devices across eight regions, but it has made it amply clear that the Indian market is very important. It has also said that there will be a special focus on the lower-tier of the market. There is however cut-throat competition in these segments, which are dominated by Chinese players like Xiaomi, Lenovo-Motorola, and Coolpad to name a few. They have not only pushed the limits of what can be offered at a particular price point, but the increased competition has also made smartphones a commodity. In other words, most of the devices launched these days look the same and also end up having a similar set of specifications.
It is in this sort of environment that HMD is looking at reintroducing the Nokia brand. But just launching a smartphone in this segment is not enough, and the company must ensure that the upcoming Nokia smartphones have a standout feature and are aggressively priced as well. Nokia smartphones from their Lumia days have boasted brightly colored bodies, have featured some of the best cameras on a smartphone, and their overall durability too have attained legendary status. The company needs to get the right mix to really sway buyers’ decisions.
Of equal importance will be how HMD plans to market the upcoming Nokia smartphones in India. Wide availability is of paramount importance, and the company is already believed to be in talks with e-commerce and offline partners. The right strategy is highly important for the company to tackle the heavy competition and sustain itself in the long run.
Just the Nokia branding is no doubt enough to attract a sizeable crowd because of the nostalgia and loyalty factors. But simply banking on the legacy is a trap that HMD needs to avoid at any costs, and it should ensure that the upcoming launches are first and foremost good smartphones that will satisfy a buyer. The Nokia branding is only the cherry at the top of the cake. ALSO READ: As Nokia gears up for a comeback with an Android smartphone, social media is exploding with excitement and nostalgia