Nokia is back, not in actual but there are official confirmations now that the brand is coming back in 2017 with Android powered Smartphones. According to the Press Release that we had covered yesterday, HMD Global will enter the market to create Nokia branded mobile phones through an exclusive 10-year brand licensing agreement. As of now, only the feature phones have been available through Nokia but with the announcement we would see global market reach with Smartphones powered by the Android Operating System.
Nokia is one of those brands that has a loyal fanbase and people who have been looking forward to devices from this brand. We did see a lot of devices launched in the last few years along with the Microsoft Windows Phone OS that terribly failed to gain a healthy market share. We can certainly blame the OS here because it is not just Nokia but also Samsung, Dell, and other manufacturers who saw no good results with this OS while Android’s market share has been increasing. Even after this saga, the loyal fans have been getting excited whenever they hear about a new update around Nokia and it looks like finally this will be answered with this new announcement. Now, let’s take a look at the timing around this investment and if it is the right decision or not.
Samsung’s Note 7 Saga: The year 2016 seems like the worst year for Samsung who has not just lost a good chunk of its market share to Apple but also has lost reputation. Consumers are getting confused with other devices like the S7, S7 Edge thinking that they might also explode and the damage isn’t stopping yet. Airlines are still announcing that their smartphones are not safe and we keep hearing news around the explosions keep coming up every other week. This damage is irreversible, and Samsung will have to work hard for the next few years to get the trust back & earn back the same reputation they have had from the last few years. This loss has become an advantage to Apple that had launched the iPhone 7 & the iPhone 7 Plus Smartphones that are selling better than their last generation devices and along with this Google has been seeing good sales on their Pixel devices. The Nexus lineup that was killed & launched as the premium Pixel devices have also got an opportunistic advantage with this timing and right now the market is highly fragmented.
Consumers have no brand that they can trust unlike the Tier-1 brands like Samsung, LG & Sony troubled with no great value for money products while the Chinese Brands like OPPO, OnePlus, Vivo increasing their market share based on the mid-range priced devices that are fulfilling their requirements. In this current scenario, the launch of devices from a well-known brand would be the perfect timing that would fill the gap & give it a success at the same time.
Google’s Close Involvement: If you recall there was the Android One Series one time that later failed, but it had google’s association with the ideas being off-putting Smartphones into the masses. Google did heavy advertising in the offline markets and worked with OEM’s to bring Smartphones with Stock Android priced at $100 or in that price range. Apart from this, Google had also closely involved in the Nexus lineup that had seen great success especially with the Nexus 5X device but when the Nexus 6 was launched Google went for super large display & high pricing that resulted in a fail. Overall we have always seen that with the Google involvement the products are heavily marketed along with some additional features like regional languages and faster OS updates. If the rumors are true, Google might also work with Nokia to bring something additional on board that could help them get a huge boosted in the initial launch itself.
What we look forward to: Premium built Smartphones from that brand that is durable continuing the legacy that the brand had offered a few years back. Along with this we also hope that they do not expand the portfolio to dozens of devices within a year and focus only on a few ensuring that they have a device in every price bracket. We have new users upgrading from their feature phones to smartphones, all thanks to the Jio 4G free internet offering following which consumers are looking forward to primarily budget-centric devices with 4G capabilities. If Nokia can offer highly competitive devices in less than Rs 10,000 price range, then there could be a huge impact on the market that is yet fragmented and no controlled by any single brand. Apart from the hardware & pricing, the brand should also focus on the service because that’s lacking right now in the Country where millions are still visiting the service centers when buying devices from well-known brands like Lenovo.
Question to Readers: If Nokia’s Smartphones are launched in 2017 would you switch from your current phone to this brand? What would be the criteria for you to make this switch? Are you facing any issues with your current Smartphone or the brand? Let us know in the comments section with your feedback & we can find out more about the situation in the market.