Nokia, the once iconic company that made built-for-generations phones, has reaffirmed its commitment towards making basic and feature phones.
Nokia Inc. whose significant portion was recently acquired by Microsoft, has dispelled any notions that it would soon cease to make feature phones and stick to smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. The company has confirmed that it would remain committed to basic phones and would keep adding innovative features to them. This commitment comes at a time when the world is rapidly switching to smartphones.
The company even said that though Microsoft was only focusing on smartphones through Windows Phone software, for Nokia it would be “business as usual“. It conveyed that it would not stop making feature phones for at least two more years.
Why is Nokia so sure about feature phones?
P Balaji, VP and MD at Nokia India answered the question by clarifying,
“In 2015, around 225 million mobile phones will be sold in India. Of these only 75 million will be smartphones. Feature phones may constitute around 30-40% of the total phone market in terms of value.”
Hence it makes sense to continue churning out feature-rich basic phones, he continued,
“We will absolutely focus on the feature phones. Our commitment to feature phones is not changing. We will offer a more enriching experience by bringing some of the smartphone-like features to basic phones.”
Won’t Microsoft compel Nokia to make Windows Phone OS based phones? Balaji laid the doubts to rest by assuring that the deal with Microsoft was not likely to affect Nokia’s feature phone plans, “Microsoft has clearly stated that money has been paid to get a Nokia brand name for a period of 10 years for the mobile phones – feature phones and Asha phones – that are separate from Lumia phones. And the company has said that it wants to reach the next one billion users… This in my view is as strong a commitment as you can get (for feature phones).”
Evidently Nokia firmly believes that the market for feature phones is anything but regressing. Though not an ascending market, it is a segment that will continue to offer strong returns. Do you support the notion?
Image Source | Nokia