What Nokia, Sony & HTC Need To Compete With Samsung?
In the past decade, there has been an unprecedented growth in the mobile phones market. The last 4 years in particular have been crazy for the smartphones, especially after the release of the Apple iPhone and Android OS. Current market leaders Samsung and Apple have a strong foothold in the smartphone space but there are other vendors out there too like Sony, HTC and the good old Nokia which are not enjoying as much sales and profit these days due to either lack of good products at important price points or lack of marketing efforts.
Let us have a look at these 3 brands and all their popular models to analyze where they are missing out on their efforts.
Nokia Need High End Dual SIM Phones
After they started releasing dual SIM phones, Nokia bounced back a bit with the Asha series of phones which are selling very well and they helped the Finnish mobile phone maker in gaining the number one spot in the feature phones segment in the entry level price range. Phones like Nokia Asha 305, Nokia Asha 308, Nokia Asha 200 and Nokia Asha 311 offer very good value for money and feature sets even though they are not proper smartphones. On the higher end, Nokia have earned a good name for themselves with the release of Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 620 and the likes. But they are missing out on sales in the price range of INR 6K to INR 12K. All the recent hits like Micromax Canvas 2, Samsung Galaxy Y Duos and Samsung Galaxy S Duos are all present in that price range and if you look closely, all these devices have 2 common features: Dual SIM and Android Operating System. There is a lot of demand for dual SIM smartphones with decent specifications such as 5 MP camera, HD video recording and 1 GHz processor. Nokia on the other hand has not even a single dual SIM phone in the price range of INR 6K and upwards. The Samsung Galaxy S Duos is priced around INR 12K (source) and there is no dual SIM phone from Nokia to compete with it.
Even though Nokia say that they are solely using the Windows Phone operating system for their smartphones, they should really think about using other operating systems because Windows Phone won’t ever allow the use of dual SIM card slots in devices which is a crippling problem. Nokia can still think about using Android or Ubuntu/Firefox as their choice for lower end smartphones.
Sony Needs Better High End Products & Improved Time In
Getting Products To Market
One of the best-selling Sony smartphones this year was the Sony Xperia Tipo Dual and that tells us the amount of demand for decent and high-end Dual SIM smartphones. Also, the flagship from Sony last year, Xperia S, was not really a phone that can be called ‘a flagship effort’. It had an HD screen with less than average contrast ratio and viewing angles and the 13 MP camera was less impressive than 8 MP cameras from rival smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple iPhone 4S. This year, they have shown a much better product: Sony Xperia Z which leaves even Apple and Samsung in the dust with its sleek and sexy design and the feature of it being ‘water resistant, dust proof and shatter proof’ is really doing wonders in the consumer interest so far.
Another problem with Sony is that, the time taken between the announcements/unveiling of their product and by the time it reaches to stores is prohibitively long. By the time the devices comes to the market, people either lose interest or buy a device from a rival brand. The trend is looking up as the new Xperia Z was announced in the MWC 2013 and is releasing today in India. But if you have a look at Apple and Samsung, they make the product available for purchase within a span of just 2-3 weeks, at least in some countries.
HTC Needs Better Marketing Efforts
Wasn’t it HTC that showed the first interest in Android during its early days? It was HTC who made some of the first and finest smartphones based on Android such as HTC G1 and HTC Hero.
HTC Desire was one of the most famous smartphones during its time and it looked like HTC could even defeat Apple. But if you have a look at HTC and its smartphone market share now, HTC is nowhere in the top 5 list of smartphone vendors. Is it that HTC devices are not performing well enough to explain those low sales figures? No, it’s their marketing strategy that is hurting HTC. Buyers can’t distinguish between various HTC products because the naming convention is confusing and the advertisements too. If you have a look at the advertisements for the ‘One’ series from HTC last year, all the products were featured in the same advertisement and people could not distinguish which feature was available in which device. If you are failing in explaining your device and it’s features to potential buyers, you are doing a below-par job and you can’t expect better returns from those efforts. Also, HTC comes up with successors of a particular device far too fast which takes a consumer into a gray territory where he gets weary that even if he buys a flagship product from HTC, his device will be obsolete by the next quarter. This was what happened with the release of HTC One X, HTC One X+ and HTC Butterfly in quick succession. Fortunately, HTC’s Peter Chow has confirmed that the new HTC One will be their only flagship product for the year of 2013 which makes sense and hopefully, their marketing and device launch strategy is heading the right way.