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Smaller cities key to growth

Kislay Kumar in Calcutta on Thursday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta, Dec. 12: Finnish handset maker Nokia is keen to tap the rising demand for smartphones in smaller Indian cities.

The company believes it has bagged sufficient market share to embolden it to aggressively tap smaller towns that will catapult India as the fastest growing smartphone market for the company.

Meanwhile, Nokia is strengthening its Asha portfolio and will launch three models — the Asha 502, 500 and 503 — between December 15 and early January.

The Asha range targets consumers looking to have their first brush with smartphones, access to mobile Internet as well as apps before graduating to costlier models.

“The smartphone growth is happening across the market. The Nokia mobile phone strategy is all about connecting the next billion people to their first phone, their first Internet and the world of apps. Going forward, growth will happen even in tier 2 and smaller markets,” said Kislay Kumar, general manager (eastern market), Nokia India.

“As the smartphone volume share is going up, the next wave of growth is to come from the next rung of towns as well,” he added.

Around 185-200 million phones have been sold in India. Of this, 18-19 per cent are smartphones and a bulk of it is affordable.

“In the industry, a 10 per cent volume share in smartphones is considered a trigger point and it has been reached already. Therefore, we believe India is going to be the fastest growing market,” he said.

Although Kumar did not comment on the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile business by Microsoft, which is pending regulatory clearances, he said there was a scope for Microsoft services such as Bing Search and SkyDrive benefiting Nokia’s consumer base.

The company’s key focus will be to increase distribution and create a better consumer experience in the increasingly competitive smartphone market.

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