Nokia offers new line of Windows Phone units [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 03--Nokia is upbeat about its first Windows-based smartphone lineup, launched in Thailand yesterday, as it hopes to regain share in the exploding internet-enabled phone market.
"We aim to become a dominant player in the smartphone market again over the next two to three years," said Grant McBeath, managing director of Nokia Thailand and emerging markets Asia.
The Finnish handset maker has been struggling, losing market share in the smartphone segment, although it remained the overall market leader last year.
Global research firm IDC awarded Samsung No.1 ranking in the global mobile phone market, including smartphones, in the first quarter of this year.
Mr McBeath said the rollout of Nokia's Lumia family, the first smartphone based on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform in Thailand, is expected to help the company regain market share.
He chalked up the lost share to stiff competition from rivals and the increasing popularity of Google's Android operating system and Apple's iPhone.
Acknowledging it would take time for consumers to learn about a new mobile operating system, he was still confident that Nokia's Windows phones would catch up fast, helped by a strong brand image.
It launched four Windows Phone models under the Lumia family: Nokia Lumia 900 priced at 18,000 baht, Nokia Lumia 800 at 15,400 baht, Lumia 710 at 9,000 and Lumia 610 at 7,400 baht.
Nokia plans a massive marketing campaign for the new phones, including building a Lumia Centre to demonstrate products for customers.
"We [Nokia Thailand] expect sales of Lumia will contribute as much as 90% of our total revenue this year, with the remaining 10% from Symbian phones," he said.
Jirapat Janjerdsak, Nokia's head ecosystem developer, said Nokia users will be able to buy Windows Phone applications in the Thai market more easily over the next few weeks. The Windows Phone marketplace has over 70,000 applications globally with between 100 and 300 new applications being introduced each day.
Songklod Wongpen, account manager at GfK Thailand, said Nokia lost its smartphone lead in the Thai market in the third quarter of 2011 for the first time. The company's ranking dipped all the way to fourth with only a 10% market share in the first quarter of 2012.
By comparison, Android-based smartphones controlled over a 50% share, followed by Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's BlackBerry.
(c)2012 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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