Dual SIM phones will help us regain market share

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Updated: Oct 13 2010, 05:30am hrs
Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia was recently in the news for seeing its market share slide to 36% at the end of June this year, from 54% at the end of 2009, according to research firm IDC. However, the company says it would not change its brand identity in the current market situation. Refuting the market share numbers stated by IDC, D Shivakumar, vice-president and managing director, Nokia India, said that the presence of new handset providers was a concern and the firm would re-gain market share with the launch of dual SIM phones, a portfolio which it has been lacking. In an interaction with FEs Rachana Khanzode, he adds that the government should bring in standards for mobile products in order to protect consumer safety and overcome illegal imports of Chinese handsets.

Nokia has been losing out on market share in India. Do we expect a change in strategy

We have been in this market for about 15 years and we are a trusted brand. So, we are not looking at any change in our brand identity. However, this market needs innovation and scale. And once we launch the dual SIM phones, we will regain that market share. At the same time, we would continue to focus on distribution and partnerships with sellers.

Why havent you created a portfolio in dual SIM phones till now

We wanted to have better featured handsets even in the dual SIM phones. We are working towards it and we will be launching them soon.

How has the Indian market changed according to you How are you looking to tap the rural market

The Indian market is changing drastically and with the expected launch of 3G services, the replacement of existing handsets with 3G enabled handsets is already happening. At the same time, the rural market is just not the same it was. Consumers are also looking at coloured and better featured phones with high memory.

Do you expect the prices of phones to go further down

The price points have already come down because of the fierce competition in the market. The fact is that in India, we lack standards for mobile phones. The government should look into the consumer safety like IMA registration, product safeguards and others. In the European Union, handsets below standards would not be allowed. Handsets in 3G are already available at lower ends and we do not expect it to go further down.

Nokia launched its N8 series in India. How important do you think this segment is going to be

This phone is the first in the new generation of Nokia devices. The smartphone is based on the new Symbian platform that delivers the experience our consumers are demanding.