Nokia: new affordable phones key to building emerging market share


Manufacturer to expand its range outside of premium smartphones, claiming it has ‘reinvented’ the affordable mobile market with its latest releases

Nokia has said it will focus on broadening its portfolio with low- and mid-range devices as it aims to increase its market share in emerging markets, in particular in China.

The four devices Nokia launched at MWC were all aimed at the budget-conscious consumer, with RRPs of between €15 (£13) for the Nokia 105 and €249 (excluding tax – £215) for the Lumia 720.

The Finnish manufacturer also launched its most affordable Windows Phone 8 device to date, the Nokia Lumia 520, at MWC alongside the €65 (£56) Nokia 301.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop claimed the company had “reinvented” the affordable mobile market with the releases.

Its strategy, he said, is centred on increasing sales volumes by hitting all price points. He added in future the company will first release a premium device that will be the basis of a range of cheaper models.

He also said Nokia will continue with the Asha brand for its lower-end phones, and is “completely focused” on Windows Phone as an OS for its higher-end devices.

Elop said: “Nokia and Microsoft have a unique opportunity to move enterprise users to a better platform. We are going to tackle the competition together.

“Clearly, one of the themes of today is to take innovation from higher price points and bring them down to lower price points.

“This is very important for countries like China. A product like the Nokia Lumia 520 on [operator] China Mobile is a compelling one – we hope that is something that will allows us to move forward and increase our share of the Chinese market.

“We believe we have to continue to rapidly innovate at the high end. We are completely focused on Windows Phone for the high end and the Asha range for lower. We will start with high end and move that technology down.”

He added the company is getting “bolder” as high-profile companies such as Coca-Cola switch to Nokia Lumia devices.

Mall of America, the largest US retailer, recently announced it was moving its employees from BlackBerry to Nokia Lumia devices.