Nokia-branded smartphones are expected to hit the global markets, including India, soon. Nokia’s phones are now being manufactured by HMD Global, a Finnish start-up. This week the company recently showcased the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 smartphones at a special event in India.
While HMD Global has not yet confirmed the launch date for these phones, a June launch is being seen as probable, though whether all phones will be introduced in one go in India is not yet confirmed. HMD Global’s Nokia 6, 5 and 3 have a design similar to the original Nokia Lumia series, and the company is banking on some of old brand recall value to succeed globally, and in the Indian market.
“India is one of the key markets when we were looking at designing the first range of phones. If you look at the global market, 50 per cent of the people are shopping in the range between Euros 150-200. In India, it is over 70 per cent. So yes, India is an excellent market, but also very challenging with very demanding consumers,” says Juho Sarvikas, HMD Global’s chief product officer in an interaction with IndianExpress.com.
He says when designing the phone, the company looked at two things closely; one was what they would be offering to users, and the other at what price point they want to operate. “If we can deliver a unique value to the Indian consumer, then surely we can succeed globally,” admits Sarvikas.
HMD Global’s Nokia phones will have features like dual-SIM, microSD slot something the company says Indian customers specifically want and need in a smartphone. But that’s not enough, give most brands these days offer a dual-SIM with microSD slot. That’s where HMD Global is hoping to cash in on the old brand value. “We have three ways at which we are looking to establish ourselves.”
“First, Nokia has been known as the phone that simply works better. If you see the design of the phone, then it is all premium quality. We have used 6000 series aluminium for Nokia 6 and 5. It takes an hour to carve the Nokia 5 out of the single block of aluminium. So it has the build quality that you expect from Nokia,” says Sarvikas.
HMD Global is also sticking with pure Android and will offer latest updates to users, which according to Sarvikas is a huge pain point for users. “Our proposition is clear, secure and updated,” he adds.
On the feature phone front, and why Nokia 3310 (2017) is still a 2G one, he points out HMD Global is the leading brand in this segment across the world. While he admits that India has witnessed a 4G revolution thanks to Reliance Jio, Sarvikas at the same time there is a strong demand for 2G feature phones. “If we look at the demand for 2G feature phones it is not declining at all. With Nokia 3310, we saw an opportunity in delivering something straight from the heart, we wanted to do a beautiful design, a very compact form, which has the visual look and feel of the original phone,” he says.
While HMD Global hasn’t officially given a price point for the new phones, it is hoping the company’s quality craftsmanship will deliver success in a market, where the conversation around specifications can drown out everything else. “If you look at our display, it is fully laminated, there are no air gaps. The phone feels great in hand, and plus we have a lot of algorithms running to conserve power. So in our case, it goes beyond the specifications,” adds Sarvikas.