The 145 million feature phone market in India that Nokia can target with 3310
One of the most anticipated mobile phone launch took place yesterday when HMD Global unveiled the new version of the classic Nokia 3310 mobile phone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017.
The smartphone, which born in the year 2000, had a dark blue body that emitted a deep green light from its tiny screen, and housed a charming game called "Snake".
This feature phone is infamous for its indestructible body and long battery life ruled the Indian market and made Nokia the leader in the country. Then came the Nokia 1100 in 2003 -- a sturdy affair with an inbuilt torch -- which quickly became the best-selling consumer electronics device of its time.
However, HMD Global which acquired the rights to Nokia at the end of last year from Microsoft, decided to pay homage to this iconic phone that began Nokia's journey to global dominance. The company launched it at the price of Euro 49, which is roughly Rs 3,500 and could be priced somewhere in that range when launched in India.
India had been one of the largest market for the Finnish mobile phone company before other Android-based smartphone makers such as Samsung took over and is looked at a key market for its come back. To its advantage India is still sells more feature phones than smartphones and that could be a turning point for its re-entry.
Feature phones still form 59% of the mobile handset shipment market in India and cannot be wiped out anytime soon, according to CMR Research Report. Out of the total mobile phones shipments in 2016 at 262 million units, 145 million units were feature phones and the remaining 113 million units were smartphone sales.
The market is estimated to ship 270 million mobile phones in 2017, of which over 140 million units (52%) are expected to still be feature phones sales and 130 million (48%) are forecast to be smartphones.
This gives Nokia a large market to capture with several users still hooked on to using feature phones. With an entire generation growing up and loving the iconic Nokia 3310, it is not only the feature phone users that the Nokia can capture but even smartphone users that will buy it for nostalgia purpose and use it as a second phone.
The biggest player right now in the feature phone Samsung is the leading player with 24.5% market share, followed by Indian manufacturers such as Lava with 12.3% and Intex with 11% market share. The other 52.2% market share in feature phones is shared by other 103 brands.
This gives Nokia an opportunity to target it and acquire a majority market share easily. As Samsung feature phones are priced substantially lower in comparison to Nokia 3310 ranging from Rs 1,500 onwards to Rs 3,000. Similarly Lava feature phones are priced Rs 1,300 onwards and go up to Rs 3,000. In fact, Intex has the lowest priced feature phone the Intex Eco 105 priced at just Rs 819.
However, price might not matter that much as people even in rural areas might not mind spending Rs 1,000 or so more when it comes to the reputation of Nokia 3310 with its durability and long battery life.
"We have to understand that, in India, we still have people who don`t have a mobile phone. And if Nokia, with its adequate distribution network, is able to tap that near-edge market, the 3310 has the potential to do wonders and become a leading handset," Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, Telecoms, CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.
"There is still enough of India that can consume it. After all, in India, three of the top 20 handsets that are deployed are still from Nokia," Kawoosa added.