Microsoft Devices bets on services, apps to drive smartphone sales

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Sales push Bhaskar Pramanik (right), Microsoft India Chairman, with Ajey Mehta, Managing Director, Microsoft Devices India, at the launch of the Lumia 535 smartphone in the Capital, on Wednesday. RAMESH SHARMA

Will help gain market share, says MD Ajey Mehta

Microsoft Devices is planning to roll out a slew of services and applications on top of its smartphones to regain lost ground.

The company said it will launch new products, with each having unique features that will help both its feature phones and its high-end Lumia series gain leading positions in the mobile phones market.

On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a smartphone, Lumia 535, priced at ₹9,199, The company will launch products with bundled services next year.

Microsoft has launched nine Lumia smartphones and five feature phones this year. It proposes to continue with similar numbers next year.

“The new products we are going to introduce next year will have their own USPs,” Ajey Mehta, Managing Director, Microsoft Devices, told BusinessLine, without revealing details.

He said the company would continue to evolve the Lumia brand in pricing, experience and consumer propositions. “Our role is to commercialise the Microsoft applications and services experiences to consumers and sustain the phones business,” Mehta said.

No more Asha launches

Mehta said Microsoft Devices will not launch the Asha series or X series of smartphones anymore and would now look at new devices in feature phones and ‘affordable’ Lumia series smartphones.

He said that in order to regain Nokia’s lost market, the company was working on a lot of new features, such as providing Microsoft applications Skype, Bing and Office 365 in its phones.

While the company will bring the price of many Lumia phones under ₹10,000, it will also offer feature phones for ₹2,000, especially for rural areas, Mehta said, adding that there will also be high-end Lumia smartphones at premium prices.

“There is a sizeable market for feature phones in India and it is growing. We will continue the investment behind the feature phones business with the Nokia brand, and in the smartphones segment, where prices are coming down. We will follow suit with products with the Microsoft Lumia brand,” Mehta added.

New Lumia 535

The company has unveiled a new smartphone, Lumia 535, priced at ₹9,199. It will begin selling across its stores from Friday.

The dual-SIM smartphone will run on the Windows Phone 8.1 OS and offer free global Here Maps and Here Drive+. It has a five-inch screen and a 1.2GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor.

The Lumia 535 has a 5 megapixel camera both at the front and rear.

With this launch, Microsoft has also announced packages across all Lumia smartphones (from Lumia 520 to Lumia 1530). These phones will be available with the option of additional cloud storage of 1TB on its OneDrive for business at ₹799 a year.

This will translate into a storage space for more than 300,000 songs or 3,000 full length feature films, the company said. Additionally, the Office 365 ‘Business Premium’ package will be available to all Lumia buyers at ₹2,499 a year, it said. Lumia buyers opting for this package will get one licence, to be used on a total of 15 devices - five personal computers (Windows/Mac), five tablets (Windows/iPads) and five smartphones (Windows/ iOS/ Android), it added.

Published on November 26, 2014

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