HMD Global, which designs and sells Nokia brand of phones, today said it will focus on expanding product range and deepening retail presence in India this year.
The company, which counts India among its top three markets, today unveiled three new devices – Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco – priced between Rs 16,999-49,999.
“2017 was about bringing the Nokia brand back home. Nokia is a brand that has been loved by people here and we want to continue building on that,” HMD Global VP India Ajey Mehta told reporters here.
This year will be about enhancing the product portfolio across price points and expanding retail presence by 10-20 per cent, he added.
Once a dominant player in the Indian market, Nokia began to see a downfall in market share some time around 2012 due to its slow response to changing trends like dual SIM and touch screen smartphones.
Last year, Nokia returned to the market with HMD as the new owner of the brand and lined up 11 devices in 12 months.
“We have sold 70 million devices globally. We are already reaching 80 countries directly,” HMD Global Chief Marketing Officer Pekka Rantala said.
While the company declined to comment on India sales, Mehta said India was among the top three markets for HMD in terms of value and volume.
“We expect to be among the top three smartphone players and top feature phone player by 2020-21,” he said when asked about how long it would take for Nokia to regain market leadership.
India is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets globally. According to research firm IDC, about 288 million mobile phones were shipped in India in 2017, which translates into an annual growth of close to 16 per cent. Smartphones grew 14 per cent in the said period.
Samsung led overall market with 24.7 per cent share in smartphone category and 20.5 per cent share in feature phone category for 2017. Xiaomi followed Samsung with 20.9 per cent share, Vivo 9.4 per cent, Lenovo 7.8 per cent and Oppo 7.5 per cent share in smartphone segment in 2017.
HMD also showcased Nokia 1, which was launched in the Indian market recently. The Android Oreo (Go)-powered device, priced at Rs 5,499 is targeted at entry-level smartphone buyers.
Priced at Rs 49,999, Nokia 8 Sirocco is the most premium phone from the HMD stable and will compete in the category that includes flagship devices from Samsung and Apple.
Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco are powered by Google Android One. These phones have features like face unlock, pro camera, and AI imaging suite.
All the devices will be available in the market later this month.
Google had first introduced Android One handsets in 2014 with Indian phone makers like Micromax, Spice and Karbonn, with all devices priced under Rs 6,500.
Despite the big bang launch, very few devices were rolled out in the time that followed and it looked like Google had pulled the plug on Android One. However, last year, Google partnered Xiaomi to launch Mi A1 that was powered by Android One.
Google Global Director of Android Partner Programmes, Jon Gold had said more devices featuring the Android One OS will be launched across the globe going ahead.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.
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