Nokia looks to be ‘disruptive force’ in smartphone market


Operator asks partners to back its ambitions after ‘great start’ for its Windows handsets

Nokia has said it wants to be a “disruptive force” in the handset market and has appealed to dealers to get behind its push to become the number one player in the smartphone market.

The statement was made by Nokia vice president of Western Europe Conor Pierce (pictured) who was addressing more than 120 dealers at Nokia’s partner event held at the Custard Factory in Birmingham on
July 17.

Pierce said Nokia has gone from being in a position of leadership to one of being a challenger brand and that this will enable it to do things “differently” from its competitors and give it the freedom to be more “disruptive” in the market.

Nokia recently lost its position as global market leader to Samsung after 10 years at the top.

Pierce said: “We want to become a disruptive force in the market, but not just a reckless force landing something almighty on the market, we need to be very clever about how we do it.

“When you experience something new, you need to have patience and it needs to connect quite quickly because people today don’t have time to waste time understanding something new. They want to be impressed immediately with something that is intuitive and easy to use.

“They are quite strong words, but we are now a challenger brand and we can do things differently.”

Pierce told dealers he is happy with the progress of Nokia’s new Windows Phone strategy but said sales are not where they should be.

Pierce described the launch of the manufacturer’s debut Windows device, the Lumia 800, as a “great start” and claimed more than half the UK population is now aware of Nokia’s Lumia brand.

However, he insisted more needs to be done to increase awareness of the brand – and he called on those in attendance to help continue the momentum.

“Almost half of the UK population is aware of Lumia,” he said. “Is it enough? No, it’s not. Do they consider it? Many do. Are they buying? Many do. Do enough people buy? No, they don’t. We’ll continue to drive the awareness and build the consideration through yourselves, retail and call centres.

“We have driven the business, but is it enough? No, it’s not. We’re a big machine, we need big numbers and we’ll get them.

“We have a great portfolio, great partnership with Microsoft and a great start but that won’t make any difference unless we as individuals, and Nokia as a company, do something radically different. It’s about knowing what we need to do and doing it fast, but not recklessly.

“This disruptive force isn’t relevant if it isn’t relevant to you. We can build success but that will only happen with you. We need you to be with us. It’s going to take some time to build momentum, but with your support we’ll get there.”

Full report of the Nokia partner event in Mobile News issue 519 (July 30, 2012).