Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone brand that enjoys tremendous brand value in India, may finally be getting its act together in the mid-range.
The company today remains unassailable only in the low-range, and has seen its share of the market relentlessly chopped away in both the mid-range and the high-end of India’s mobile phone market. The reason? Nokia failed to grasp the importance of touch early on and remained in denial of the importance of the feature even as Korean competitors like Samsung and LG brought out tens of mid and high end touch phones over the last two years.
From around 60% of the total phones sold in the country four years ago, Nokia’s current market share is expected to be around 35%. It would be even lower if the value of the phones, instead of their number, is considered since a lot of Nokia’s numbers come from the very low end of the market.
Nokia’s last product that created excitement in the mid-tier market was the Xpressmusic series, now more than three years old.
Now, four months after the new chief Stephen Elop took over, Nokia seems to be a mood to fight back. Early today morning, the company unveiled three closely-related models belonging to the C2 series.
Going by the indicative price range of $100-115, they are likely to be priced between Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 when they are launched in two months.
The most notable factor, however, is not the price — but the product themselves. Even as, for the past three years, Indian, Chinese and Korean brands have made merry in the mid-range market (Rs 3,500 to Rs 6,500) thanks to the absence of touch-enabled models from Nokia in this range, their merriment may be just about to come to an end.
All the three models are packed with features better than most, if not all of the models in this range offer in India today. The only big miss is 3G and video calling.
The C2-03, the base model expected to cost Rs 5,000, has a 2.6 inch touch-screen with a resolution of 240 pixels (width) and 320 pixels (height) — bigger in size and similar in resolution to those on the high-end Nokia phones such as the E61, E62 and E72. They will support dual-SIMs, memory cards, bluetooth and the installation of third party applications.
A similarly configured model in the market today costs around Rs 5,500-7000.
Whether the new phones, built on the S40 platform, will help Nokia win back the mid-tier market or not is something to be seen in 3 months.
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