Nokia plans add-on services to up sales

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 14 2010, 06:35am hrs
Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia has been losing out its market share in India to a dozen local and Chinese handset manufacturers that have launched phones in the country.

However, Nokia, which has been portraying itself as a solutions provider rather than a handset manufacturer, isn't looking at any change in strategy. Instead, the firm intends to provide add-on services to its consumers that are localised.

Nokia's Ovi music services global director Adam Mirabella said India is a difficult market to crack and the firm recently concluded local studies to understand it better. The key is going to be localisation, Mirabella said. The idea is to create a strong brand of services under Ovi. The fact that most of our competitors have opted to remain out from the services part in India, we are going to be better placed. Therefore, the vision is to have each and every handset included with services and solutions, he added.

Besides the low-cost handset providers, the high-end phones, especially the iPhone that was launched last year, have been giving tough competition to Nokia. Until recently it also lacked a dual SIM phone, a phenomenon that has picked up drastically in India. Globally too, Nokia has lost its market share from about 37% in second quarter of 2009 to 34% in the same period this year, according to research firm Gartner.

As competition is increasing, we need to make our services better and, therefore, we intend to launch more services and do more innovation with Ovi music in the coming months, Mirabella said. It intends to bring Ovi music store that comprises more than 4 million songs, on most of its phones in India. Currently, the Ovi store is available on just few models of Nokia. There could be innovating pricing models as well, which the firm is still evaluating. The Ovi music store was launched in May in India. The response has been good, he said, refusing to give numbers on how much did the music part added on the sales. The expected launch of 3G services by the year-end is going to be another opportunity to push up sales for high-end phones, Nokia feels. We would be trying to create an eco-system and are in dialogue with various operators. Like for Ovi music store downloads we already have a tie-up with Reliance Communications, he added.