Nokia looks to price to regain market share

MWC: Nokia has extended its Lumia range with more “affordable” handsets as it looks to boost its market share by making its smartphones accessible to new audiences and new regions.

Nokia Lumia 720

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today (25 February), the company unveiled the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520, both of which it says deliver high-end innovation to more affordable price points and help the company drive greater volume and scale.

The Nokia Lumia 520 will be the company’s cheapest Windows 8 smartphone to date at €139 (£121), while the 720 boasts a high-end camera and service such as Nokia Music, wireless charging and its Here location suite at a mid-range price point.

It is understood UK marketing activity to support the devices will be aimed at the youth market, particularly focusing on its music service, although details have not yet been unveiled.

Stephen Elop, Nokia president and chief executive officer, said the company is “reinventing the battle” for more affordable mobile devices and that Nokia has the “building blocks” to win it.

He added: “The momentum behind Nokia is gathering pace. The launches today reflect our commitment to broadening our devices and services portfolio to meet the demands of people and businesses around the globe.”

Nokia launched its Lumia strategy and commitment to the Windows Phone ecosystem in 2011 to try and regain market share lost to the likes of Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry and HTC.

The company sold 4.4 million Lumia smartphones in the fourth quarter, up from 2.9 million the previous quarter. Nokia has just an 8 per cent share of the UK smartphone market, making it the fifth largest manufacturer in the region, according to comScore data from December.

Nokia has been working to readdress its customer marketing approach with retail and technology partners as it attempts to level up the competition against its closest rivals HTC and BlackBerry.

Tony Cripps, devices and performance analyst at Ovum, says creating a “virtuous circle of supply and demand” will be vital for Nokia’s partners to drive uptake.

He adds: “This will require an even greater marketing push and more focus on retail outlets than we’ve seen to date. It will also be necessary to avoid the supply problems that took the shine off the Lumia 920, which has otherwise proved itself popular with reviewers.”

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