Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nokia regaining low end smartphone market share in Sri Lanka

2-3 weeks back Nokia started advertising this low end smart phone range in Sri Lanka targeted at lower middle class youth segments which are currently dominated by small players like Do Mobile, Karbonn & unknown Chinese brands.

The need
There is a segment of mobile phone users who want smart features like web, social networks access at the same time maintaining two sims to reduce the bill.etc. Like few people argued with me - dual sim is seen as a cheap feature - But you need ot understand that customers will not pay higher to buy a cheap feature. Chinese phones and small players were catering to this need all this time. Other need was the use of apps, with Nokia app-store (Forgetting about all the complaints) this range will be more appealing than other competing smartphones.

Nokia response
For sure - Its quite a late response. Low end smart phones were with Samsung,Motorola,LG and Sony Erricsson for like ages. For e.g Samsung had its dual sim smart phones many years back and now they are talking about OS dual sim phones like Samsung Y Duos. What Nokia launched as Asha 200 is a prototype of Micromax Q5fb which was launched about 2 years back in Sri Lanka.

Technology & features
Its on par with low players but behind the dual sim phones of Samsung & LG. Samsung advertising dual sim - android phone (Will post separately) was a big deal but it just diluted the hype since it's not launched yet - creating an opportunity for Nokia to capture the market even with less no.of features because pricing matters more than technology.  I'm predicting Nokia Asha 200 to be a hit outside Colombo for it's price vs features appeal - But it's a question of time.

Bottom line 
This is a very good attempt by Nokia to recapture the market, specially the youth segment in Sri Lanka. Will be a huge challenge for brands like Micromax,Karbonn&Do Mobile. Will be highly beneficial for the development in Sri Lanka in the long run by increasing internet penetration & social media usage giving a boost to internet related industries in Sri Lanka.

We had many fruitful arguments, specially in twitter-sphere about these phone range, So feel free to share your thoughts on Nokia's come back...


  1. Most Chinese dual sim phones are short-lived. Most customers' next stop is Nokia. Even though the price is a bit higher than the Chinese ones, everyone knows its quality.

  2. Totally agree - There will be a large conversion of "already-dual sim" customers who use Chinese phones. The reliability & the status quo of "I am using a Nokia phone" (When compared to "I am using a Chinese phone") is going to be the most appealing factor in the conversion.
    Price - It's high but not to a level to damage sales. For e.g. Asha 200 is Rs.11000 something, whereas Micromax Q5 was launched at Rs.14000 something (That was 2 years back but). So don't you think Nokia has very fairly priced it to appeal to youth?