All eyes will be on HMD Global when the Finnish company reveals a reincarnated version of Nokia 3310 at the Mobile World Congress later this month. However, details of the company’s impending India launch are also coming in.
A source in the dealership space in Delhi told indianexpress.com that the 3310 could be available in India as early as May. Calling the phone, which he has happened to see before its unveiling in Barcelona on February 26, “mind blowing and very beautiful”. The source said the basic phone will look different from the original version. “They have changed the design completely; it’s oval shaped now”. The new Nokia 3310 will arrive in multiple colours.
While he could not give much insight on the expected price, the source said it will have to be priced under Rs 3000 ($44) to be successful. Even Rs 3,500 might be considered too much for a basic feature phone, even if it is the dependable Nokia 3310. The only advantage he sees with the 3310 will be the brand ‘Nokia’ which has a huge recall value in India. In other words, not everyone likes to pay for a phone that offers limited functionality and features.
Our source believes the new Nokia 3310 will be available only in limited quantities. Supplies are likely to be limited at the time of launch as he doesn’t see HMD Global chasing the volume game with the Nokia 3310.
Other than the 3310, HMD Global will be selling Nokia 6 in India. The Android smartphone, which is only being sold in China and is also available in limited quantities, will get its global release date at the annual Mobile World Congress event. Our source predicts the mid-end smartphone could be priced in the vicinity of Rs 19,000 when it goes on sale in India, although launch details aren’t available just yet.
HMD Global will be adopting the dual channel strategy to reach out to the masses and all upcoming phones in India will be sold both online and offline. Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, the company will not be focusing on an online-only sales strategy only. The new strategy will also see the company focusing on offline retail channels. For that, the company has already started hiring in-shop demonstrators ahead of the release of Nokia 6 and Nokia 3310 in India.
By the end of the year, HMD Global – the Finnish company that owns the rights to use Nokia’s brand on smartphones and tablets — could end up bringing up to seven new models into India. If reports are to believed, the company is already working on a slew of smartphones, including the Nokia 5, Nokia 3 and a high-end smartphone with a Snapdragon 835 processor.
In the dealership community in India, Nokia’s comeback is the talk of the town. One such dealer is Manish Khatri of Mumbai’s Mahesh Telecom. Khatri says Nokia comeback is “very exciting” as he feels many people are waiting for the cult brand to re-enter the phone market. People have already started to inquire about the new Nokia 3310, he told indianexpress.com. Khatri feels the 3310 is going to dominate the basic segment in India.
Although the Nokia brand is “very powerful”, he still feels that the company has to be extra careful in terms of pricing the product right and also offering the smooth performance of the software, better hardware and regular software updates. He believes that the market has changed unlike a decade ago when there used to be only a handful of players. If Nokia wants to succeed in the market, the company has to focus on the quality which it used to maintain in its heydey.
“The first entry will be very critical for HMD Global in India. Because a lot of people are looking forward to Nokia as the brand and there are huge expectations. People might not be aware that HMD (Global) is still a start-up and will tend to see the company as the old Nokia. So there will be huge responsibility from that perspective which I think they should be careful with their initial launches. It will be a make or break situation for them,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.