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Nokia’s Attempt To Improve Its Smartphone Market Share

April 06, 2014 | About:
Rahul Chattaraj

Rahul Chattaraj

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Gradually the mobile phone market is developing and more and more consumers are opting for smartphones. According to a research conducted by Gartner, 2013 was the year when for the first time totally smartphone sales surpassed the sales of feature phones, indicating that the market is very much in support of the next-generation devices.

Last year the smartphone market expanded by 42.3% and Samsung (SSNLF) sold almost 300 million smartphones, resulting in a 31% market share. Apple (AAPL) also managed to pull off a decent figure, selling 150 million and accounting for 15.6% of the entire market. However, Nokia (NOK) was nowhere in the picture.

This year the Finnish phone maker has decided to change things and has some strong plans that many believe can actually support the turnaround. At the recently concluded Microsoft (MSFT) Build, the phone maker announced two new handsets - Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 – both to be powered by Windows Phone 8.1. Do the handsets have what the situation demands?

What Nokia Got Right with the Handsets
Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 are basically the same handsets. The only point of difference is that Lumia 630 is a 3G device while Lumia 635 packs LTE too. Talking about measurement, the handsets come in 129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2mm dimensions and weigh roughly 134 grams. Under the hood, the handsets are powered by 1.2GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and as already mentioned both will run the latest version of Windows Phone OS.

Speaking about the external features, the handsets will sport a 4.5-inch touch screen that will be protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The major drawback of the handsets is the amount of RAM it provides. Taking into consideration the present day usage levels, 512MB of RAM might fail to satisfy its users. Apart from these, the handsets come with a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and offer 720p video recording. But, the most tempting point about the handsets is the price tag. Both Lumia 630 and 635 are sub-$200 devices, manufactured keeping in mind the price-sensitive emerging markets.

The worldwide smartphone market is expanding and the prime reason for that is the huge influx of the low-cost smartphones mainly from reputed manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC and many more, as well as from cheaper Chinese manufacturers. The price point of the handsets clearly signifies that Nokia has understood how crucial it is to attract the budget-conscious customers, especially in the emerging markets.

Stiff Competition
Nokia is not the only player that understands the importance of low-cost handsets. Rather, it’s among one of those manufacturers who took time to realize the importance of the point. Player’s such as Samsung and Google (GOOG) realized the criticalness of the situation way back and that’s what enabled them to grow at such monstrous speed.

In the current market situation the handset that can give the Lumia 630 and 635 a very stiff competition would be Android powered Google’s Moto G. The handset has been selling exceptionally well in major emerging markets and the overall response from the customers is fantastic.

Technically speaking, Moto G has almost everything the Nokia handsets have and on top of those it sports a better display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution with 326ppi as against Nokia’s 854 x 480 pixel resolution with 214ppi. As a result the display on Moto G is much more vivid and crisp – something that’s very important to the target audience.

Talking about performance, Moto G again has the advantage again, thanks to its 1GB RAM, making it much more responsive and nimble to use. The one point where the handset falls short of the Lumia is the storage capacity. While Moto G comes with 8GB and 16GB storage options, the Lumia handsets have just 8GB of storage, but they also have the expandable storage option absent in Moto G. So, while Moto G scores on display and performance speed, it falls short in terms of storage - another aspect very important to the target audience. However, the trump card for Moto G is undoubtedly the operating system it sports – Android 4.4 KitKat.

Departing Thoughts
Several industry experts and analysts believe the choice of operating system has been and will continue to favor Moto G. But, till now Windows Phone 8.1 was not available. Microsoft has done some very interesting stuff with the OS – such as inclusion of Cortana. These latest developments at Microsoft’s end may just do the trick and push sales forward for Nokia’s latest handsets. Nokia has always manufactured brilliant handsets and its choice of OS has always been the problem. Microsoft solving that issue may turn the wheel of fortune for the Finnish phone maker. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait for some time to see how the latest Lumia handsets fair against competition.


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