Nokia aims to regain past glory with Lumia phonesBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Finnish phone maker Nokia is confident that it is equipped to reclaim its former glory and once again become the most prestigious handset brand in the Philippines.
With the introduction of the company’s new line of “Lumia” mobile phones, Nokia Philippines officials said the company expects to compete head to head with brands like Samsung, HTC and Apple.
“We are heavily focused on the Lumia range this year. A lot of people are anticipating this brand and we would say that the products are the right ones for this market,” Nokia Philippines general manager Dharmesh Goshalia said in a recent interview.
The current Nokia Lumia line in the Philippines features three models, namely the 610, the 710 and 800. The top-of-the-line 900, meanwhile, will be released in the market this June.
“This addresses all segments of the smartphone price band,” Goshalia said. “We are really excited with the products that we have and reception has been very good,” he said.
Like most emerging markets, Goshalia said the Philippines has seen a rise in demand for Internet-enabled smartphones. A study by Singapore-based research firm GfK published in April showed that smartphone sales in the Philippines would grow by over 400 percent in 2012—the fastest among the Southeast Asian markets.
Goshalia said phones in the new Lumia line, all featuring touch-screen displays, cameras with Carl Zeiss lenses, and the new Windows Phone operating system, showed that Nokia was ready for this growth.
Complementing the Lumia line is the existing “Asha” range of more affordable “feature phones.” The Asha devices target users that want more out of their regular phones, but are still not ready to make the jump to full-featured smartphones.
“With the Asha range and the Lumia, we are bringing more phones to consumers and we’re giving them a lot of choices,” Goshalia said.
Also working in Nokia’s favor, Goshalia said, was Nokia’s brand recall in the Philippines. “The Philippines is a very strong Nokia market. People still wait for the next Nokia phones that come out,” he said.
“Nokia is still very much in the hearts and minds of the people and we are addressing all consumers out there,” he said.
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