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India to play a key role in HMD’s plans for a Nokia comeback

From manufacturing in India, to tie ups with e-commerce and offline partners, HMD is ensuring Nokia’s comeback is an instant hit.

nokia-stock-image-getty

For the past several months, we had been hearing about Nokia s comeback to the smartphone market. We have already seen a few Nokia-branded Android devices leak, hinting at the inevitable return of what was once the biggest handset brand in the world. HMD, which owns exclusive rights for using the Nokia branding, has announced the launch of Nokia phones in the first half of next year. Like it had been the case a few years ago, India is going to play a crucial role in Nokia s resurrection. Also Read - Nokia 110 4G feature phone launched in India with price under Rs 3,000: Check specs, price

Also Read - Nokia G20 budget phone now available: Check specs, price in India, where to buy

While all Nokia devices will be manufactured by Foxconn, HMD also plans to use Foxconn s facility in India for production for its devices, reports Economic Times. According to the report, HMD will be selling Nokia phones across price segments while the product portfolio will include the existing range of feature phones, tablets, and smartphones. HMD plans to launch Nokia smartphones at one go in all eight markets including Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, India, and China. Also Read - Tech News Today: Oppo Reno 6 series launched, Poco F3 GT specs, new Nokia phone launch

As far as the Indian market goes, HMD plans to sell devices at every price point with a special emphasis on the lower-tier of the market. The company aims to leverage Nokia s brand to sell devices in markets in India and focus both on e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar stores. It will be premium execution in each and every price point and we know how important mid-to-low price point devices are in India, Arto Nummela, chief executive officer of HMD Global, is quoted as saying. ALSO READ: Nokia Android smartphones to launch in 2017, HMD confirms

Nokia is the one handset brand in India which has the largest residual brand equity from over the last decade. It has the potential to capitalize on it, ET quotes brand consultant Harish Bijoor as saying. Provided the phone is a hard-working one, fulfils the expectations of average users in smartphones, Nokia has a strong chance of a second coming.

Back in 2008, Nokia had about 70 percent of market share in India, but the company failed to evolve along with the changing market dynamics, ultimately pushing itself to extinction. A couple of years ago Microsoft acquired Nokia s mobile phone business in a $7.2 billion deal. But Microsoft too failed to resurrect Nokia, and later sold it to HMD Global and Foxconn International Holdings for $350 million.

With Nokia s decline, the likes of Samsung and Micromax have managed to capture a majority of the Indian mobile phone market. And in the last couple of years, a number of new players have entered the market with mostly targeting the popular budget segment. Currently, the likes of Xiaomi, Lenovo-Motorola combined are dominating the segment.

Though there s a fierce competition, HMD also realizes there s a strong resonance of the brand with consumers. Nokia has been one of the most iconic and recognizable phone brands globally for decades. The excitement of re-introducing this much-loved, well-known and trusted brand to smartphone consumers is a responsibility and an ambition that everyone at HMD shares, Arto Nummela said earlier this week. ALSO READ: As Nokia gears up for a comeback with an Android smartphone, social media is exploding with excitement and nostalgia

Based on rumors so far, Nokia is working on two high-end devices, expected to feature 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch displays with QHD (1440 2560 pixels) resolution. The two smartphones are expected to be powered by Qualcomm s 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, 22.6-megapixel rear snapper with LED flash and 4K video recording capabilities, and connectivity options like 4G LTE support.

But it s highly likely the company has a budget smartphone up its sleeve as well to tap the Indian market. We already have heard rumors about a Nokia C1 smartphone. It is expected to come with a metal unibody and 5-inch HD display. It will house 2GB of RAM along with 32GB onboard storage. Other expected features of the phone are an 8-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, and 4G LTE support.

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  • Published Date: December 2, 2016 2:01 PM IST



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