Microsoft retains brand ‘Nokia’ to tap Rural and Emerging Markets

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The CES 2015 is on in Las Vegas and the internet is filled up with new product announcements. Of the many announcements made, one which draws our attention is the launch of Nokia 215. Though Microsoft declared that it will kill brand Nokia, but it seems they now indent to ride on the brand equity of Nokia and sail their way through emerging and rural markets.

Nokia as a brand has been immensely popular in India with more than 80% of mobile market share at one point in time. However, with slow adoption to changing business environment – namely introduction of dual SIM feature phones and Android Smartphones, they have been struggling to keep the brand aspirational. With the retention of the brand even after announcing that it shall be killed ultimately makes us scratch out heads.

With every other company announcing bigger and better smartphones, Microsoft announced the Nokia 215 in the CES 2015 claiming it to be their most affordable Internet-ready entry-level phone yet. At $29 for 29 days on a single charge, it certainly lives up to its billing. According to Microsoft, the 215 offers a stand-by battery time of up to 29 days (in standby mode) after just one charging session—or 20 hours while in active use. It clearly indicates that this product has been designed to target the rural India or similar markets.

This move of retaining Nokia as a sub-brand under Microsoft can prove to be a good move for the tech giant. It shall help them position their feature and smartphones separately under two lines – Nokia and Lumia. This strategy seems bang on with the fact that Nokia loyals, unlike Lumia fanatics, have always been more inclined towards a hassle free plain communication experience from their devices. Though Microsoft has been witnessing gradual increase in their market share with their Lumia phones in the smartphone segment, it time to test their capability to retain their leadership with brand ‘Nokia’ in the feature phone category – a category which is shrinking every day.

With Microsoft only permitted to use the Nokia brand for 18 months, following its acquisition of the handset-maker in 2013, its almost certain that Nokia mobile phones would soon be a thing of the past.

Arpit Srivastava

5 COMMENTS

  1. Nokia as a brand is still strong with considerable market share in entery level smartphones. Unfortunate that they could not build up to their brand.

  2. I am surprised by this move. Why does Microsoft invest in continuing with a brand (Nokia) if they have rights to use it only for 18 months ?

  3. The concept of introducing sub-brands doesn’t work at time. Branding, as a phenomenon, is sensitive. I dont think Microsoft will make a cut with this.

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