Nokia’s New Focus: What is Nokia doing to save its House?
Nokia has already been dissected, eulogized and even post mortised by few excited geeks and bloggers around the world. Things are definitely not going well for the Finnish erstwhile mobile giants.
In the last 2 years, Nokia has fallen from its top spot in world mobile market; they have shut production facilities in Finland, tanked in the stock market and even managed to get to the point where they have sold their headquarters only to remain on as tenants.
But if one looks at the efforts going on in the back ground, it is evident that Nokia is now consolidating and bringing itself up for one big fight Rocky style. This post refrains from making any conclusions but provides you an insight in what Nokia attempts to accomplish in the next few months.
If you were to visit Nokia’s global website today, you will immediately notice that the product portfolio of Nokia is now consolidated into 2 broad brand categories. While folks in developing markets have already seen Nokia’s twin headed attack strategy using Nokia Asha and Nokia Lumia brand.
The new found focus will help Nokia consolidate its marketing efforts and budget. The Asha brand has already helped Nokia stave off competition in the low budget feature phone market. Nokia Asha 305, Asha 311 and the lot has already made great impact in the youth market as well. The phone however is being stretched thin beyond the Rs 5000 price tag, where the low end Android phones are dealing serious damage to the feature phone mobile market.
The Lumia range may have not converted many users in the past 2 years mainly due to lower availability of applications and the unavailability of Windows 8 OS on those devices. Lumia however is getting a brand change in recent times with the Windows 8.
The high end Lumia brand is making for a great amount of focus from Nokia in the developed market.
Efforts with Windows 8
The arrival of Windows 8 phones and the new crop of Nokia Lumia range of phones, the Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820 and more recently the Nokia Lumia 620 seem to be a shot in the arm for the dying Nokia brand. The Windows 8 experience coupled with Nokia’s promising approach to hardware and Nokia’s own exclusive applications have made the new breed of Lumia phones fairly outstanding.
The phone also offers the first real differentiator for high power users from the motley of S3s and Note 2s and even the disappointments of the iPhones. With the Windows 8 running phones, Nokia will now try to appeal to the individuality of the premium smartphone users. To the typical high end user, the urge to stand out from the crowd is quite compelling. All your country club members, all your geek friends all your business partners are touting the iPhone or the S3.
The Nokia Lumia 920 will succeed mainly because of this urge. With personalization, competitive specification and a crop of interesting features and accessories, the phone does offer a compelling alternative. With the Nokia Lumia 620 on the other end of the spectrum, Nokia will now attempt to bring the Windows 8 to the masses. Nokia Lumia 620 price in India is expected to be around Rs 15000.
At this price, the phone will effectively compete head on with several of the high profile mid-range Android phones and in most cases beat them. It seems Nokia has big plans with the Windows 8 and should run with the new phones to the point of mass market release, significant ad spending and even more offline marketing events like the ones the first Lumia phones had.
Gradual phase out of Windows 7.5
The loyalists of Nokia may have already inadvertently bought into the Windows 7.5 ignorant or in some cases indifferent to the absence of a Windows 8 update. While initially it seemed Nokia may have inadvertently been misled into producing by nature defunct phones.
Nokia with the help of Microsoft have however set up compensatory updates for these members. However, production of the first line up Nokia Lumia phones will soon be suspended and the models phased out in the next quarter. In place, Nokia will launch more Windows 8 devices in the future to replace the price range of Lumia devices.
In the meanwhile Windows 7.5 devices may continue to be available at cheaper prices and cheaper devices will become available just like the Lumia 520. The Windows 7.5 devices may become completely unavailable by year 2014 or continue as a mid-range device just like older Android devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and 2.4 Ice Cream Sandwich do today.
Nokia’s difficult times will continue for a while. However, the future for Nokia seems promising at least based on the efforts put up by the company. The consolidation of Nokia Brands is a bigger improvement over the earlier array of Nokia’s devices with alphanumeric names.
Windows 8 devices will help Nokia gain market share significantly in the smartphone market. It is expected that Nokia will be back in the top 4 by the end of 2014 in the smartphone market. There is definitely going to be a slow transition for now where Nokia will slowly sell out its existing Nokia Lumia devices at drop dead prices and move to making more affordable Windows 8 devices in the time to come.