The day has finally come when you can purchase Android powered Nokia smartphones in the India market. The Finnish group HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones today announced the first installment of Nokia Android phones- Nokia 6 (Rs. 14,999), Nokia 5 (Rs. 12,999) and Nokia 3 (Rs. 9,499) for the Indian consumers.
Priced aggressively, the Nokia Android smartphones can be a real threat to sub Rs. 15k smartphones from the popular brands such as Lenovo, Motorola, Huawei, Micromax, Xiaomi, etc.
Moreover, the Nokia handsets are more than just the metal-glass devices backed by Google's mobile OS. They tend to make consumers nostalgic and take them back to the good old days of Nokia when phones were not fighting for megapixels and multi-core processors.
In the words of Ajey Mehta, Vice President India, HMD Global, "Nokia is a trusted and well-loved brand across the world and especially in India. Today's announcement scripts a new chapter for Nokia phones in this country as we set out to capture the hearts and minds of an entirely new generation of fans through an inspiring and purpose-led approach".
We can agree to the statement made above but would you really purchase a handset just for the fact that it brings back certain memories of your first or second phone. Nokia is undoubtedly considered as the people's brand in the Indian market but its prolonged absence from the Indian phone space and the recent dominance of Chinese brands cannot be watered down with just three smartphones. The company has to meet certain expectations associated with the brand name and deliver on areas where the popular Chinese brands are lacking.
I believe one such element is the 'Customer Service Support'. During the launch event, the HMD group backing the Nokia devices mentioned that the company is investing in a robust after-sales network branded 'Nokia Mobile Care'. And by the end of June 2017, over 300 cities will have a Nokia Mobile Care presence.
In addition, consumers will have the opportunity to avail a device pick-up/drop service in 100 more cities. This is not it, for tech savvy consumers of today, Nokia will also have Nokia Mobile Care support in the form of voice and web support.
HMD team also mentioned that the three Nokia devices will also deliver on consistency and regular Android updates, which are often ignored in handsets from some of the Chinese and Indian brands.
I had a chance to experience the Nokia handsets last month and as far as their initial impressions are concerned, they seem pretty loaded and offer a value for money package. More so, the handsets present a durable, simple and reliable design which is a trademark of Nokia as a brand.
The new line-up comprises of Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and the Nokia 3. To sweeten up the deal, Nokia is also offering cash backs and discounts. The Nokia 6 will be exclusively available on Amazon.in at a recommended best buy price of Rs. 14,999. Amazon Prime members will get a discount of Rs. 1,000 on purchase of the device using Amazon Pay balance.
The Nokia 5 will retail at a recommended best buy price of Rs. 12,899 and Vodafone consumers will get 5GB data per month at Rs. 149 per month for 3 months on their Nokia 5. Consumers will also get Rs. 2,500 off (Rs. 1800 on hotels and Rs.700 off on domestic flights) on Makemytrip.com.
Nokia 3 will be available at a recommended best buy price of Rs. 9,499 and will offer all the additional benefits as you get with the Nokia 5.
While the handsets offer a good balance of hardware and software, it's too early to give a verdict on the success of brand's second inning in the Indian market. I believe Nokia wasted too much time to board on Android train but then it gave them enough time to study the market dynamics.
This can be an advantage for the brand that can once again tap the market and become a household brand. However, only time will tell how consumers will react to Nokia's comeback on the Indian soil with the first lot of Android devices. Stay tuned on GIZBOT for more on Nokia smartphones.