Microsoft today launched the world’s first Microsoft Priority Reseller store in India, which will sell the company’s Lumia branded smartphones. This is the first store-level rebranding exercise the Redmond-based company is making after acquiring Nokia last year. Also Read - Nokia Clarity, Comfort, Micro, Go Earbuds Series with ANC launched: Price, features
Microsoft will have two kinds of stores — Microsoft Priority Reseller store for Lumia smartphones and Microsoft Mobile Reseller store for its value and feature phones. The former are essentially Microsoft exclusive stores, which apart from the Lumia smartphones will also feature Xbox one, and Windows tablets. The latter, on the other hand, are store-in-store at third-party multi-brand retail outlets. Also Read - Nokia C30 budget phone launched with price under Rs 10,000: Check specs, price
In all, Microsoft will rebrand 8,872 stores and 119 after-sales service centers in India by end of June. Globally, Microsoft will rebrand 15,684 stores and 324 after-sales service centers. Also Read - Nokia XR20 rugged 5G phone launched: Check specs, price, India launch details
“We are quite pleased with our strategy in India. We launched our first Microsoft-branded Lumia 535 without the Nokia branding. Our channel partners were a bit nervous but we are quite pleased with the results,” Chris Weber, corporate vice president for global sales at Microsoft Mobile Devices.
While not divulging any numbers, Weber said India was getting the largest share of investment to rebrand its stores.
Microsoft’s entry-level Lumia smartphones got good traction in India initially but have since been overshadowed by Android smartphone vendors. Xiaomi, which entered India last July already has become the fifth largest smartphone vendor in India in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to IDC. Microsoft Mobile Devices, however, doesn’t feature in the top five smartphone vendors.
“We have to keep pushing price points lower and at the same time move into the high-end and the halo effect it has on other smartphones,” he said.