HMD Set To Bring Nokia Back, India Will Be Key

HMD-Set-To-Bring-Nokia-Back-India-Will-Be-KeyThe name Nokia is synonymous with the modern smartphone, Heck, during their heyday, Nokia was the smartphone. No other manufacturer could come close to the magic that Nokia had, they made one hit after another, with each device growing their popularity and brand to even higher plateaus. Then just when it seemed like Nokia was destined to rule the world of smartphones forever, the iPhone happened and it was all downhill from there. The wizards at Nokia were outdone at their own game and like many companies that tried to desperately to cling on, Nokia took the baby steps toward touch screen devices too late. They plummeted like Icarus, having flown too close to the sun.Now a new day is about to dawn for Nokia, rising like the phoenix from the ashes of their failures, no doubt wiser, having learnt from their mistakes. In 2017, the world will see another Nokia phone, for many who grew up communicating on Nokia devices, this news was an overload of Nostalgia. They are not doing it alone though. HMD global, the company led by Nokia alumni, Arto Nummela has been chosen to shoulder the burden of this feat. While many will be sceptical of a company that has been around only since 2016 to handle a brand as iconic as Nokia, it’s not difficult to realise why the choice was made, nearly all key executives at HMD have ties to Nokia and almost all of them carry memories of their time at Nokia and the Bittersweet symphony of the relationship with Microsoft.

HMD will clearly will bank on the nostalgia and history associated with the Nokia brand. In an Interview with Reuters, Nummela was quoted as saying “Consumers may be carrying different smartphones now, but are they really in love and loyal to those brands?”

After all, Nostalgia is a powerful tool, it kept Nokia going through the many ups and downs before the shutdown. The Lumia devices, based on a then untested mobile operating system, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, sold on name alone. The fact that the customers were willing to put up with the irritants of a new operating system was because the Nokia name was associated with the project.

It’s fitting then that the new Nokia phones move to a new operating system, Google’s Android. It was a move that many fans wanted the company to make ever since the demise of the much loved N9. Nokia has already waded into the Android territory with the N1 tablet and HMD will be looking to use that experience to make up for lost time. It’s not going to be just the operating system though, there is a solid plan in place.

Analyst Ben Wood of CCS Insight says “For a new entrant, having an established brand provides it with an instant on-ramp, the barriers to entry for the Android phone space are low, What HMD has is the Nokia brand and management experience. The key to its success will be driving scale.” He added that phone vendors with weak brands should not take the challenge lightly.

HMD, leader, Nummela was once the spearhead of Nokia sales and Product development. “We want to be one of the key competitive players in the smartphone business,” he told Reuters.

Given the renewed focus on capturing market share, it’s a safe bet that HMD will likely start from the ground up, aiming to wrestle market away in the feature phone and mid-ranged phones segments first. Both these categories are among the highest sold in the Indian market, where spending power on premium smartphones is relatively lower than in other countries.

It’s not going to be easy, where Nokia phones once made large numbers in the feature phone segment, the fiscal year of 2015 saw an almost forty percent plunge in sales, leaving the Nokia brand tattering in the doldrums. Then there is the challenge of selling phones in a market with seemingly endless vendors are offering many options, that can make distinguishing your product a challenge. HMD seem optimistic of their chances, Nummela says his team’s enduring relationships with phone service providers and retailers could help HMD quickly convince owners of Nokia feature phones to upgrade in markets like India, Indonesia and Russia.

Analyst Ben Wood added “The feature phone is the essence of the business, don’t be under any illusions that this market is over.”

[Source:-GIZMODO]