Friday , March 22 2019

Can Nokia nudge its way back into the smartphone market?

Nokia needs to find a way to stand out in the current heavy competition. — Reuters pic

The Nokia 3310

Now, if the smartphone world is now officially dominated by iOS and Android, there could still be a forte for Nokia.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel data, published Wednesday, shows that iPhone 7 is the world’s most popular handset at present; even that Samsung is still being the biggest handset maker; and Android still dominates the operating system landscape around the world. In Europe, 74.3 % of phones run Android, 83.2 % in China, 58.2 % in the USA and 52.6 % in Australia. In Japan is iOS more popular (49.5 percent versus 49 percent).

Yet, according to Kantar, the two trademarks that essentially shaped the smartphone market, Nokia and BlackBerry, now could still find a new niche in this duopoly.

“February’s Mobile World Congress 2017 demonstrated the true state of the market, with re-evolving brand names Nokia and BlackBerry capturing a lot of attention, but now operating on Android rather than on their own legacy operating systems,” said Lauren Guenveur, Global Consumer Insight Director of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

“We witnessed something of a throwback to times past with the new Nokia 3310 feature phone, an updated version of the iconic Nokia look, plus several new Nokia Android smartphones have being marketed by HMD, now for the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand.”

Indeed, the fondness with which Nokia is still stared, particularly in Europe could well see the brand re-establishing itself among consumers who would otherwise be considering a mid-range Samsung handset.

“HMD Global’s focus on revitalizing the Nokia name seems to be concentrated on quality for cost. There are three new Android phones are priced at €229 (RM1,082) or less, with Android Nougat, Google Assistant, aluminum construction, and otherwise solid mid-range specs,” said Dominic Sunnebo.

In other words, they could be very popular in “price-conscious markets like Italy and Spain,” said by Sunnebo.

“70% of the US domestic market is dominated by Apple and Samsung, and the third largest manufacturer, LG, accounted for an additional of 11.1% sales in the three months ending January 2017,” Guenveur said.

“It is difficult to see the impact of all the devices launched at MWC 2017 from the perception of a US consumer meanwhile many of them are not primarily planned for sale in the US.” — AFP-Relaxnews

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