Nokia’s Flawed Strategies: ‘Phone Only’ Strategy & Entry-Level Smartphones
Nokia as we know is struggling to find its foot hold in the smartphone market after ditching its own Symbian, MeeGo platforms and clinging on to the Microsoft’s Windows Phone as the platform of choice for future smartphones. Nokia has released some impressive pieces of hardware such as Lumia 900, Lumia 920 and Lumia 620 which are held back only by the limitations of platform they are riding on. Now their destiny is in the hands of Microsoft unless they opt for a different platform for their smartphones and if they ever do switch, it might be too late for them.
Now their destiny is in the hands of Microsoft unless they opt for a different platform for their smartphones and if they ever do switch, it might be too late for them.
The Gap Where Nokia Fails Miserably
The Asha OS is good for feature phones and Windows Phone will mature but there is a big glaring hole that lies in between them. Currently, the Nokia Asha OS handsets sell in the sub INR 5K mark and the costliest Asha operating system based phone is the Asha 311 which is priced around 6K. Although Nokia is trying to release a Windows Phone based device for as low as they can, their current cheapest priced Windows Phone based device, Lumia 510 is priced around 9K. There is a glaring gap between these phones where Nokia has negligible sales and they are missing out on a segment which is the most popular according to a report from MySmartPrice (an Indian price comparison website) where more than half of the phones from a list of 15 most popular phones are from the price range of INR 5K-10K.
The relations between Nokia and their BFF Microsoft are not all that rosy these days as Nokia failed to get them any exclusive place in the market compared to other hardware partners. It is high time Nokia considered releasing Android handsets as well. This will help them turn instantly into some type of profitability as they have always been known for producing good hardware. You can buy an Android smartphone for as low as $80 and the day isn’t far when feature phones will eventually die and Windows Phones can never be so cheap. Nokia’s own Asha OS is not half as good as Android when it comes to features and Nokia should think once again about Android as an alternative platform for their cheaper phones.
Ditch The Phone Only Strategy
Nokia have never been short of ground breaking concepts but they seldom turn them into reality. In fact, they were the manufacturers of the first ever official smartphone – Nokia communicator which had the possibility of installing third-party applications, almost 10 years prior to the era of iPhones and Androids. Nokia should now break away from their phone only strategy and try making different offerings such as tablets and hybrid convertible devices.
Remember the Nokia Morph from years back? It was a wearable phone in the form of a watch but this concept was never exploited. Now Apple, Sony and Google are all over the Internet with their wearable devices like iPod Nano, Sony Smart Watch and Google Glasses respectively. Samsung even came up with Android based Galaxy Camera which not even dedicated digital camera manufacturers gave a thought about. Nokia should now be flexible enough to try more diverse things (making a Windows 8 based tablet should be relatively easy) and surprise the industry as well as consumers to at least stay in the limelight for the right reasons.
Give People What They Want
Dual SIM Smartphones
The year 2012 was one where there was an unprecedented growth of dual SIM smartphones, especially in developing nations like India and China where most of the mobile phone subscribers use prepaid plans. This allows them to shift between multiple carriers for a cost effective solution, whether they are frequent travelers or if they want to use separate contact numbers for work and home. Nokia can adopt Android or use their relationship with Microsoft (they are apparently ‘closer partner’ than others OEMs) to let themselves make dual SIM Windows Phone devices and they can surely sell a lot of such devices.
Phones With Battery Life
Smartphones are getting more and more powerful so the power requirements have been rising and larger batteries are one of the aspects where people are putting in more thought before making a buying decision. Nokia was known for its devices with spectacular battery life and if Nokia could replicate that with their smartphones, it would be great.
In conclusion, Nokia should seriously consider Android as an alternate platform for their smartphones (or dual SIM smartphones) and not be too dependent on Windows Phone for their success. They should even try their hands on much diverse things like tablets and wearable computing devices if they want to see themselves rebound as a strong player in the industry.