As it aims to become one of the top three smartphone players globally, India will once again be a key market for Nokia, a top company executive has said. The company, once the undisputed leader of the mobile phone space, now operates through HMD Global and unveiled the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 3 and a revamped version of the iconic Nokia 3310 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) here. “By June, these products will be launched globally and India will serve as a key market for us again. Our attempt is to source 100 per cent from the country because of tax benefits,” Ajey Mehta, Vice President-India for HMD Global India Ltd., told IANS on the sidelines of the annual event.
“We will make sure that we have a renewed presence in 250 cities and towns before we make new products available.
“Our core strength is offline but we will also go online to reach a wider audience. However, online and offline product ranges will be different,” he said, adding that a focus on core experience, design, quality and a pure Android experience will drive the bid to be among the top three smartphone players worldwide.
“The market has been cluttered with undifferentiated products and there is fatigue being observed. People are looking for fresh offerings which we aim to provide. We will aim to become the people’s brand and have a presence in flagship brands as well as in the low-price segment,” Mehta stressed.
Mobile handset shipments touched 265 million in 2016 with feature phones making up about 59 per cent of the overall market.
According to Mehta, feature phones are big business in India and the company can’t ignore it.
“We will have to be innovative in the feature phone segment but we will have to win in the smartphone space too. We are working with our partners like Foxconn to supply both smartphones and feature phones from our India manufacturing unit,” Mehta said.
The Nokia factory at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu is one of the largest manufacturing facilities for mobile phones in the world.
Nokia 6 features a 5.5-inch full-HD screen and is crafted from a single block of 6000 series aluminium. The device will be available in four colours — matte black, silver, tempered blue and copper.
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 mobile platform and Qualcomm Adreno 505 graphics processor, Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch IPS HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass.
Thin, light and durable, the $52 (less than Rs 4,000) Nokia 3310 delivers 22-hour talk-time and a month-long stand-by. The device is available in four colours — Warm Red and Yellow, both with a gloss finish, and Dark Blue and Grey, both with a matte finish.
“We will stick to the core values of Nokia like reliability, consistency, simplicity, human touch, trust… but implement them in a more modern way so that it is appealing to the new consumers. We need to get the best from the past and target new consumers,” Mehta told IANS.
Nokia announced last year that it had licensed Finnish company HMD Global to produce Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.
HMD has reached agreements with both Microsoft and Nokia for the use of the Nokia brand and some design rights. HMD is planning to spend some 400 million euros to market the Nokia brand for the next three years.