By Suman Debnath | March 2, 2017 | 7:52 p.m. | Pune, India
November, 2014, this was the month when many of the hearts got broken up as the most loved mobile device manufacturer “Nokia” withdrew itself from the market and announced that Nokia will not be manufacturing mobiles anymore. The Finnish Telecommunications giant decided not to manufacture anymore after its phone business got acquired by The Silicon Valley software giant “Microsoft“
Well, there was still a thin line indicating that this was not the end. There was a period of 2 years, during what their license wouldn’t allow the manufacturing of any mobile devices. There was a mass amount of confusion about the return. There was rumor that Nokia is officially gone and some other rumors were like “It’s not the end,” “Nokia will retain its license,” “It’ll be back soon.”
Looks like some of the rumors were true. Nokia, taking the world by surprise, have returned to the market with a completely new marketing strategy and a completely different pattern of mobile line up, different compared to what they used to make. And it’s looking like that the hearts that they broke 2 years ago, have not forgotten them. Nokia was an emotion and it’s still an emotion. They are still the most loved and emotionally attached brand.
Even before Nokia again entered the market, they had created an immense hype in the market. They got in the trending list even before launching any product. The Mobile World Congress (MWC) officially started in Barcelona, but the star of the show was announced before doors even opened: a relaunched version of the legendary Nokia 3310.
The Finnish mobile manufacturer, that now has the license to make mobile phones under the brand name “Nokia” has relaunched its most popular feature phone with some new bells and rings. The original Nokia 3310 was released way back in 2000 and it was sold over 126 million units worldwide. The old version was known for its durability, sturdiness and its battery backup also. The updated version will have a few more attractions, including a full-color screen and a 2.4-megapixel camera with a 25 day long battery backup and the revamped version of the legendary “snake” game.
The company now making Nokia phones is HMD Global, a private equity-backed firm created explicitly to make new Nokia phones. The intro of the revamped 3310 was swift: HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela held up the phone and said the only three things that matter. Its battery lasts a month, it has Snake, and it has the Nokia ringtone. And then he was gone.
Starting from the “3”
HMD has planned for Nokia’s future, that to have phones at all price points, for all users. With that in mind, it’s launching three new smartphones alongside the 3310. The Nokia 3, a 5-inch smartphone made of aluminum and polycarbonate, comes with an 8-megapixel camera and a 720p display. It costs about $150. For $50 more.
Coming to the “5”
The Nokia 5 has an all-aluminum body, a 5.2-inch display of the same resolution, a 13-megapixel camera, and a more updated Snapdragon 430 processor.
And finally the “6”
At the top of the range there’s the $315 Nokia 6, which is another all-aluminum device with a 5.5-inch, 1080p screen, and a whopping 16-megapixel camera on the back. It’s been available in China since January, and is now going global.
All three phones run a clean, untouched version of Nougat, the latest version of Android, which HMD says will be true for all Nokia phones going forward.
The emphasis was on high-end design and materials, which means polarized and sculpted Gorilla Glass and an aluminum finish on even the lowest end Nokia 3. Till now Nokia isn’t gunning for the top of the chain for the places of Samsung and Apple. It’s a new start and Nokia is more interested in keeping it fresh for some times. But, these 3 new product is giving Nokia a pretty good and fresh start. The devices keep the Nokia tradition of smartphones. The specs are really good and also running the latest Android. Looks like Nokia at last have identified the market rightly. As “Microsoft” isn’t revealing their plans, it’s undoubtedly a complete era of Android.
Nokia’s other big move is to shut the door on bloatware. Nokia is now promising the “purest” Android experience possible. This means no concessions to the over 500 carriers in 120 countries who will offer the phone, many of whom have grown accustomed to pre-loading their own apps to the detriment of the end-user.
Nokia even slightly tweaked their target market also. HMD Global’s executives also said that the phone is aimed at young consumers, many of whom may never have owned a Nokia before. CEO Arto Nummela says over 70% of its customers in China, where its top-end Nokia 6 has been available, are of “a new generation,” suggesting that they were buying the handsets on their merits alone, rather than brand loyalty or the effects of nostalgia.
At last it looks like that Nokia has managed to overcome its obsession for the camera specs. They are not looking at this fact as the unique selling point (USP) of their devices any more. Nokia may not have retained their position in the market as it was in the early 2000s but with the launch of the new “Nokia 3310” they have created the hype and also the trend that it deserves. Whether it’s a right strategy or not, we’re yet to know that, but this unique strategy has undoubtedly helped them in creating the buzz in the market. They are almost successful in repositioning the brand just as it was before going off.
With a complete new STP, a unique strategy, a new tweaked target audience and a new position in the market, it’s going to be a fun time watching how Nokia retains its old place in the market.