We are casting two nets, says Nokia

Thomas K Thomas Barcelona | Updated on March 12, 2018

CHRIS WEBER, Nokia’s Executive Vice-President in charge of sales and marketing

Chris Weber details how new Android phones will change the game for the firm

Chris Weber as Nokia’s Executive Vice-President in charge of sales and marketing has a huge task. On one hand, he has to deal with the onslaught of brands such as Apple and Samsung and on the other, he has the task of keeping check on the low-end smartphone players such as Micromax and Karbonn. Business Line spoke with Weber on how the new Android phones will change the game for Nokia.

In 2011, when the partnership with Microsoft for Windows operating system was announced, Nokia had then said that it had taken a decision not to launch Android phones. What has changed since then? Is it late now?

The timing is right. We are building on our solid foundation on Windows phone. It is not a question about ‘either’ ‘or’. It is ‘and’. This is about casting two nets and not one.

It took time to roll out our Lumia phone. Now, we have the ability to bring our premium design and quality on phones in addition to Lumia. We took out Google services and put Microsoft services. We believe that the market is massive.

There are already a plethora of Android phones in the market. How will you create differentiation?

I want to clarify that we have launched phones that runs Android applications.

We are not using Google Android. Number one differentiation is in the design and quality which puts Nokia brand stand out. The second is Fast Lane, which is the best multi-tasking function. Then we have colour. You look at other low-end phones today and you won’t find this design and colour

Why will Nokia succeed?

We always had multiple product lines. It’s not that we just decided to get into the low-end smartphone game. We always had the Asha phone range. We are doing compelling products at price points below Lumia. We have been in this for a long time now we are coming with something more competitive.

How will you ensure that Nokia phones become the preferred devices at the retail level?

We have made progress over time in terms of working with retail partners.

Research we have done has been positive and what they want is a product that is compelling at a lower price point. We know they are used to selling Android. Now, we bring the differentiation.

Could there be an overall lap with some of the Lumia devices in terms of positioning?

We have thought this through and we are going to price the X series lower than Lumia.

While Nokia has moved into Android, other Android players are moving into Windows. Does this change the global ecosystem or is it still a three-way battle between Apple iOS, Google Android and Nokia-Windows?

In fact getting stronger for Windows.

We have the momentum. The success we have had on Windows has prompted others also to participate.

I will cheer that. We are the market maker but its super positive to build the ecosystem.

( The writer is in Barcelona, at the invitation of Nokia)

Published on February 24, 2014

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