Nokia sees an opportuninity in entry-level smartphones stateside

Nokia sees an opportuninity in entry-level smartphones stateside
Strange as it seems, Nokia is not looking to capture the high-end smartphone market directly in the States, but rather it sees its opportunity in entry-level smartphones stateside. Executive Chris Weber said Nokia will concentrate on conquering the basic smartphone segment, aimed at first-time buyers. The company’s US strategy contrasts with the Finns focus on the high-end with Windows Phone in other markets.

“We have to be additive to [carriers'] business,” Weber said at Nokia World. The Nokia executive reasoned that Android for example is too complicated for the uninitiated wannabe smartphone users. In Weber’s opinion, they had to download six apps to achieve the level of functionality Windows Phone offers out of the box.

Why strange you might ask? Well, it's Nokia's falling operating margins and quickly declining average selling price that allowed it to sustain its market share, but in the long-term that doesn't bring a huge profit growth opportunity.

“The company is committed through and through to the U.S. market,” Weber reiterated. He also mentioned that Nokia is planning to make a “significant” investment in marketing the new Windows Phone-powered handsets to the North American customer.

Now, one thing the phone maker is still working on is carrier support, essential for a handset’s success in the US. Verizon seems the most likely candidate as Sprint doesn’t have the money after it’s revealed the massive investment to get the new iPhone and carry out its network revision plan. Verizon staff was also seen at Nokia World adding more weight to such proposition.

source: WSJ via Electronista

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25 Comments

1. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

i think nokia is missing the point. yes americans are cheap when it comes to mobiles, but they want quality too. i realize its difficult to have both ways, but if all they do is introduce low end smartphones, i don't think the general public will be too interested

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

cheap? who has a higher concentration of high end and expencive phones than america??? MAYBE japan.. that would be about it. Nokia is AGAIN missing the point. their "lets throw cheap phones at america" routine for the last few years did them nothing. Part of the reason they are in a tailspin is bad decisions like this. The top selling smartphones in america ARE NOT CHEAP for the most part.

5. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

Americans only buy high end smartphones on contranct for lower prices. 99% of the americans wont buy phones more than $200. So dont say americans buy expensive phones.

8. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I am an American, & everyone I know has an "expensive" or top-tier/high end smartphone. I really don't know what you are talking about. Smartphones are becoming the norm & today’s cheap or non high-end smartphone WAS yesterdays "expensive" or top-tier/high end smartphone. remixfa IS right outside of Japan the U.S. buys an exuberant amount of "expensive" or top-tier/high end smartphones. So I am sorry but you couldn’t be more wrong!

9. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

i said, Americans dont buy phones with its full price. They buy through carriers for reduced price, thats why everyone is using smartphones here in America. i'm not American buy i work for an American company in Dallas. So my collegues & supervisors all have smartphones including me. But they all stucked with an contract with carriers and i'm the only free bird even to choose plans as i need. They dont have freedom to what they think. This is what i said.

11. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That is fine & dandy. They choose to be in a contract & they are fine. I buy my phones out right because I can & because I choose to. Just because people buy phone with contracts doesn't mean they can’t buy a phone out right either. Some people choose to & some don't. Why is it a good thing to be a free bird as you say? It's not like you can use a Sprint phone on AT&T, or a Verizon phone on T-Mobile or whatever. So you & I are free birds........ great I guess. Still doesn’t change the fact that Americans DO buy “expensive” or top-tier/high end smartphones. With or without a contract!

12. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

you're right!!!!

21. jimjam unregistered

$200 on a $50-60+ contract is EXPENSIVE. You pay for the phone via the monthly charges.

2. yowanvista

Posts: 341; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

They should not be killing Symbian, it can still be as bright as Android if they put in some effort.

6. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

i agree with you!!!

22. jimjam unregistered

It is an odd strategy. Europeans like Symbian but Americans do not (probably as they aren't used to it). So they axe symbian because they want to get into the American market.... then the latest wp7 phones are launched first in Europe and then in the USA only the lower handsets are launched (at least initially). So basically Nokia changed to enter the US market and are not really entering very strongly after all.....odd.

4. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

" In Weber’s opinion, they had to download six apps to achieve the level of functionality Windows Phone offers out of the box" interesting,where we have to do like that

7. redmd

Posts: 1926; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

" In Weber’s opinion, they had to download six apps to achieve the level of functionality Windows Phone offers out of the box" like what exactly? I'm happy with my android widgets. wp should be happy with their tiles.

13. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

They mean app killer and stuff like that..lol

10. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

anyway with microsoft os they can propose only cheap phones

14. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Either the author is stirring things up or Nokia is pulling a Nintendo. If the latter, epic fail for Nokia. If millions are using iphones and super androids, where does that leave first time users of smarts phones? None! Wanna penetrate the US market, better have something spectacular beyond the iphone and super androids. Non of US carriers will carry a big name product that doesn't sell except Tmo. They'll take any low end stuff. Doesn't make sense though that MS stated it will support dual cores and HD screens and that they are working to beef up their camera. Mystery mysyery!

15. ReturningToNokia

Posts: 130; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Reality: Not everyone in the U.S. can afford, or even wants to pay $199+ for a phone. Nokia's past, present, and future success has been, and will be, catering to ALL price points and market segments. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Nokia wanting to introduce an entry level, affordably priced, handset in the U.S. No doubt, they will also treat U.S. consumers to high end devices as well. HTC is introducing the Radar 4G on T-Mobile for $99, and the new MyTouches on T-Mobile will be $79 - all entry level pricing. So why is being made an issue if Nokia does the same?

17. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

this is what i said

18. Firedrops

Posts: 254; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

considering both software and hardware, their n9 is low-end enough for me to not want to buy it even if you paid me for it, but they still happily priced it at over $100 more than the competing android flagships. Frankly I don't see when the drunkards at Nokia will learn their lesson of over-estimating their products' values.

16. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Okay - our Nokia friend here is half right. There is a HUGE segment of the population that do buy tier 2 smartphones. Millions are sold every year. There is no doubt that Nokia, which is more interested in volume sold than profit per handset, can make WP's which can compete for that. Where he is wrong is that until WP is established as a great option for buyers, the consumers they are targeting will grab what they have seen and heard of: Android and Apple's now low end offering of the 3GS. Nokia and WP need some success first. Now if the Focus S and the Titan are runaway hits, than yes Nokia can ride that wave to compete for the lower market. But, you need that success first. Get a couple high end devices out Nokia, build the brand. The volume will come.

19. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

I'm sorry, didn't i just say millions are buying iphones and supper androids? Who do you think those millions are? Rich and middle class only? Teens and middle agers? Buyers of all ages and financial brackets have iphones, ipads, and super androids. Didn't sprint and att sold millions in their first week of iphone 4S? Better think harder friends. Wp7 is not a big seller here in US or anywhere yet. And Nokia coming to the US market dominated by iphone and super Androids with a low bang? Thats making wp look bad. Come to the US with something big first to establish a name against the big boys and bring the little minions along to fight them off. Every battle needs a leader to lead the charge, not some little guy that will be killed easily. At this point it doesnt matter. From the products Nokia presented this week, i can honestly say Nokia is not the leader here. HTC is the one leading the battle front against the androids and iphones. They make great wp products and their two new products appear to have more to offer than Nokia. Go HTC! I can foresee their camera better than Nokia in future.

20. bluechrism

Posts: 99; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

"Now, one thing the phone maker is still working on is carrier support, essential for a handset’s success in the US. Verizon seems the most likely candidate as Sprint doesn’t have the money after it’s revealed the massive investment to get the new iPhone and carry out its network revision plan. Verizon staff was also seen at Nokia World adding more weight to such proposition." Did PA miss the one about the 710.1 passing through the FCC with T-Mobile/AWS radios then? (See engadget, mynokiablog, others) Verizon still likely to get the though 800, but T-Mo might be first with the 710.

23. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Verizon got big products to market; iphone, nexus, rezound, and gs2. So nokia comes along with a midrange wp. Come on this is making wp look bad. I can see HTC selling better than Nokia now and future.

24. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

I'd prefer at least one "hero" device... Nokia, IMO, is not going to mess things up - especially stateside. They have people paid to analyze the US market and propose a business plan, and after all this time I would assume they know a thing or two about the US mobile market. I know they can be wrong from time to time, but I also know people on these boards just love to act like they are know it alls... You're not. Dont try to forecast a companies demise or success. Offer you opinion, comment on your like or dislike, support your OPINIONS, then click post comment. No need to be a textbook writer. And no need for me to blabber... Nokia, please bring a SMART/HERO smartphone

25. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Read the article regarding HTC profits and calls for them to build lower end devices. whoever Nokia is using as US market analysts are not seeing the trend. Millions and I'm saying millions in US are spending to buy high end smart phones. So where are the other million low end phone buyers Nokia is hoping to tap? there isn't any! if their goal is to get Us customers to recognize wp through selling mid tier phones, samsung and htc is ahead of nokias game. Problem is not the OS. Its quality of hardware. Its the advertising and unknowledgeable and biased carriers and reps.

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