The iconic Nokia 3310 is back in the market and at the Indian Mobile Congress going on in Delhi from September 27-29, the Nokia booth found itself surrounded by curious Nokia fans. After all, it was once the most popular and reliable mobile phone brand. The once popular mobile phone brand which lost out to other Android phones and iPhones has now launched the new Nokia Android smartphones by HMD global and consumers canâ€™t wait to find out if it will live up to their expectations.
Once the pioneer of mobile phones in the world the Finnish tech company has been trying to survive the market with phones sporting the Windows OS, which also failed to make a dent in the smartphone market. It eventually sold its devices and services division to Microsoft in 2014.
But years after the debacle, Nokia smartphones have now made a comeback with HMD Global. Starting off with the very nostalgic 3310, HMD Global also launched four more Android smartphones under the Nokia brand.
Speaking to The News Minute, Ajey Mehta, Vice President, HMD India says that the Nokia smartphones will continue to live by the brandâ€™s philosophies and being a peopleâ€™s brand, will look at all consumer segments.
Hereâ€™s what we talked about:
Nokia has made a comeback after a while, how has the response been?
The response has been very positive and overwhelming. We launched Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 3310. The feedback has been very positive. Net promoter scores have been very positive. Our product philosophy is pure Android, design, and craftsmanship and we have gotten ticks up on all these philosophies
We are off to a very strong start with 3, 5, 6. We have launched Nokia 8, taking Zeiss optics, a dual camera that you can view both sides and OZO audio technology that records audio far more clearly.
The smartphone market has been highly competitive. Where do you see yourself in this market and which consumer segment will your focus be on?
Nokia has always been a peopleâ€™s brand. Our marketing target audience is the millennial purpose seeker but the commercial target audience is the entire market. In the past, we could sell a Rs 60,000 phone under Nokia brand and at the same time sell a 600-rupee phone that wouldnâ€™t take the sheen off the brand. We will be a full range player across price bands.
Speaking of competition, itâ€™s always been a very competitive market. Competition is not new to us and doesnâ€™t intimidate us. We want to make sure we launch Nokia in the way we launch Nokia. We are not going to determine our strategy based on what goes on in the market.
Nokia has certain values, such as reliability, trust, transparency that the consumer connects with. We will continue to remain true to the Nokia brand but the rendition of it will be very different because the audience has changed, the market has changed and everybody has moved on from where we were before.
We have seen many players adopting an online-only strategy for their smartphones. What will your distribution strategy be?
We have 450 exclusive distributors for Nokia that cover 90,000 outlets. I see offline distribution as one of the integral pillars of our success in the future. This channel is very important to us. In fact, these 450 distributors have moved exclusively to Nokia and are excited about the business.
We will go channel agnostic offline and also have a strong online play. Ideally, we would like to be across all channels. Where the consumer shops, how he shops, at what price and what is the product proposition we are offering will determine the distribution route we will take. But largely, Nokia will be both offline and online.
What is next for Nokia? What kind of launches can we expect and how many per year?
Our first strategy, as I mentioned, is to make sure we have a product portfolio that is full range across segments and price points. I cant reveal how many But Iâ€™d say stay tuned for what Nokia has to offer over the next few months.
Like Zeiss and OZO, will you be looking at more partnerships to bring next-gen technology to Nokia phones?
HMD, as you know, runs on an asset-lite model and we are built on partnerships and collaborations. We are always open to partnerships to enhance our value proposition. As and when a relevant one comes along that lets us deliver a better and higher consumer value proposition, we will go for it.
We are leveraging our imaging through the partnership with Zeiss and multimedia with OZO. So as we go along, depending on how technology evolves, we will decide and look for partnerships.