Home » Geopolitics » The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India

The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India

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Lumia 520 is the second bestseller on Flipkart, India’s Amazon.com (April 2, 2013)

$385 $193 $129 $267


$105 $27 $250 $28

but still Samsung’s entry level Andoid phone (Galaxy Y) is leading in price ($105) and #5.

More than 221 million mobile handsets shipped in India during CY 2012, a Y-o-Y growth of 20.8%; Nokia retains overall leadership [CyberMedia Research, India press release, April 1, 2013]

Smartphone shipments cross 15 million units, 2H numbers grow 75.2% HY-o-HY; Samsung still the favourite but Sony and Indian players make their mark through differentiated offerings

According to CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Market Review, CY 2012, March 2013 release, India registered 221.6 million mobile handset shipments for CY (January-December) 2012. During the same period, 15.2 million smartphones were shipped in the country.

Table 1. India Mobile Handsets Market: CY 2012 versus CY 2011 (in terms of unit shipments)

Form Factor
Mobile Handsets
(CY 2011)
(CY 2012)
Year-on-Year Growth, CY 2012 over
CY 2011 (%)
Half Year-on-Half Year Growth, 2H 2012 over
1H 2012 (%)

Source: CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Market Review, CY 2012, March 2013 release

A comparison of overall mobile handset shipments and featurephone shipments shows a direct correlation for the India mobile handsets market rankings. Market shares are somewhat similar for the top three players across the overall market and the featurephones segment, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2. India Mobile Handsets Market: Leading Players, CY 2012 (% of unit shipments)





Rank – Overall




Share – Overall (% of unit shipments)




Rank – Featurephones segment




Share – Featurephones segment (% of unit shipments of featurephones)




Source: CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Market Review, CY 2012, March 2013 release

Commenting on the results, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “Although we see a huge market ‘hype’ around smartphones, the fact remains that the India Mobile Handsets market is still dominated by shipments of featurephones. On the other hand smartphone shipments are growing fast. This indicates India is still a ‘new phone’ market, where featurephones contribute to the bulk of shipments compared to replacements or upgrades.”

“This propensity on the part of Indian subscribers of mobile telephony services to purchase large numbers of featurephones has paved the way for the establishment of Indian brands, which are largely focused on this segment.”

India Smartphones Market

The India smartphones market during 2H 2012 saw a rise in shipments by 75.2% over and above the 1H 2012 number, taking the overall contribution of smartphones to 6.8% for the full year. In fact, during 2H 2012, smartphone shipments stood at 8.1% of the country’s total mobile handset shipments. While BlackBerry was at third spot during 1H 2012, Sony Mobiles displaced the former if we examine numbers for the full CY 2012.

Table 3. India Mobile Handsets Market: Leading Smartphone Players, CY 2012 (in terms of % of unit shipments)



Share (% of unit shipments of smartphones)



43.1% [~6.5M]



13.3% [~ 2M]

Sony Mobiles


8.2% [~1.25M]

* Smartphone shipments reported here for Samsung for CY 2011 and CY 2012 do not include shipments of ‘phablet’ (> 5″ screen size) models such as the Samsung Galaxy Note and the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Source: CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Market Review, CY 2012, March 2013

Commenting on these results, Tarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “The India smartphones segment has very distinct characteristics vis-à-vis the overall market. We believe the struggle for leadership in the India smartphones market is going to intensify through 2013 as vendors bring new form factors to market.”

“Players such as Samsung, HTC and Sony Mobiles will increasingly try to establish leadership through differentiated offerings and by promising a ‘seamless’ experience across the four consumer screens – smartphone, tablet, PC and TV. At the same time, home grown vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava will try to make a mark against their global competitors, by bringing to market powerful, yet attractively priced smartphones in an attempt to widen their appeal and grow the overall smartphone user base”, Tarun added.

Notes for Editors
    1. This release is a part of the CyberMedia Research (CMR) Smart Mobility Market Programme.
    2. CyberMedia Research (CMR) uses the term “shipments” to describe the number of handsets leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For the convenience of media, the term shipments has been replaced by ‘sales’ in the press release, but this reflects the market size in terms of units of mobile handsets and not their absolute value. In the case of handsets imported into the country it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. CyberMedia Research does not track the number of handsets brought on their person by individual passengers landing on Indian soil from overseas destinations or ‘grey market’ handsets. These are, therefore, not part of the CyberMedia Research numbers reported here.
    3. CyberMedia Research (CMR) tracks shipments of mobile handsets on a monthly basis. However, as per convention, the market size is reported on a calendar quarter basis where appropriate to the context; in all such cases this refers to an aggregated number for the three calendar months in the quarter to which the press release refers.

    Note that the Nokia smartphone numbers by CMR given above most probably do not include the Nokia Asha Touch “smartphones”. See their opinion about that:
    Nokia Asha: Not yet a smartphone, yet is it Nokia’s “asha” for better times ahead [by Tarun Pathak from CyberMedia Research, India, Dec 18, 2012]

    Almost a year ago Nokia launched its Lumia range of smartphones based on the Windows Mobile OS, alongside the Asha series. The market scenario at the time was different – Nokia was still the global market leader, despite its declining smartphones share and was banking on the Microsoft Windows Mobile OS for its new range of Lumia smartphones to reverse the declining trend in smartphones and stop, or at least slow down, the ever increasing dominance of Android and Apple iOS. But then things didn’t go as expected. Nokia continued to lose its global market share and eventually lost it mobile handsets market dominance of 14 years to Samsung in April 2012. There were two trends in the Nokia Quarterly results starting from 1Q 2012 – volume shipments of smart devices mainly dependent on the Lumia range continued to decline, whereas the shipments of featurephones led by Asha range of handsets started to show an increase.
    Quarterly Performance of Nokia Devices Business
    3Q 2011
    4Q 2011
    1Q 2012
    2Q 2012
    3Q 2012
    Smart devices
    Mobile Phones
    Source: Nokia Quarterly Results,October 18, 2012
    Nokia Lumia initially positioned as ‘more than a smartphone’ has received a lukewarm response from customers, when compared with the high decibel launch of Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note 2, Apple’s iPhone 5, HTC’s One X etc.
    On the other hand, Nokia Asha, initially positioned as ‘a cross between a featurephone and smartphone’ is receiving positive customer response globally.
    In recent days, we have heard talk about the full-touch Asha series of devices being positioned as ‘smart featurephones’, but before going into the reasons for this rethinking, let us understand how exactly is a smartphone different from a featurephone. Smartphones are devices which run on evolved operating systems (Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, Linux, BlackBerry OS, WebOS, Android, iOS etc.), and have the ability to download and run applications and store user data beyond their required personal information management (PIM) capabilities. Featurephones run on a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) such as Java or BREW, and can download only Java apps without access to Android or iPhone apps.
    So technically Nokia Asha doesn’t fit into the definition of a smartphone and responding to my question during a recent Nokia Talks webcast, a Nokia official confirmed the same. However, if we compare feature-to-feature, the capabilities of Asha phones can give smartphones a run for their money. Full touchscreen, cloud-accelerated Nokia browser for providing a fast and affordable internet experience, Nokia’s location based platform, online games, social networking integration and powerful processor etc., they have almost all the features a smartphone should have at an affordable price point ranging between INR 4,000-7,500.
    Therefore, it is only natural for Nokia to position the full-touch range of Asha phones as smartphones. One may term it as a marketing tactic, especially in view of Nokia having a tough time in the smartphones market. Since 43% of smartphone sales in India are under the INR 10,000 price point (Source: CMR, 2012), it makes eminent sense for Nokia to push the full touch Asha devices as smartphones. So, while technically the Asha series might not qualify as a smartphone, they are smarter than many devices in the price range and may well be the lifeline that Nokia is looking for, to shore up its fortunes in the long road to recovery.

    – Lumia 800 US$ 389 (INR 21,799) [July 9, 2012]
    – Lumia 710 US$ 248 (INR 13,899) [July 9, 2012]

    India mobile phone sales cross 50 million mark in Jan-Mar 2012; up 9.1% YoY [CyberMedia Research, India press release, July 3, 2012]

    Smartphones make up 5.3% of units sold and almost a quarter of total handset revenues

    Multi-SIM handsets account for two-thirds of total sales; 3G phone sales still below 10 per cent of total sales

    New Delhi / Gurgaon, July 3, 2012: The overall India mobile handsets market registered sales of 50.2 million units during January-March 2012. This was reported in the CyberMedia Research India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for 1Q 2012 released today.

    In the overall India mobile handsets market, Nokia retained leadership position with 23% share, followed by Samsung at second position with 14.1% and Micromax at third position with 5.8%, in terms of sales (unit shipments) during January-March 2012.

    Table 1. India Monthly Mobile Handset Shipments (millions of units),
    January-March 2012*

    *Source: CyberMedia Research India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for 1Q 2012,
    June 2012 release

    Overall India Mobile Handsets Market by PriceBand

    Figure 1. India Mobile Handsets Market by Price Band

    * Source: CyberMedia Research, 2012

    <INR 5000: <US$ 89    INR 5001-10000: US$ 89-179
    INR 10001-15000:   US$ 179-268
    INR 15001-20000:  US$ 268-357
    INR 20001-25000:  US$ 357-447
    INR 25001-30000:  US$ 447-536  >INR 30000: >US$ 536

    India Smartphones Market: The Shape of Things to Come

    Total India smartphone sales touched 2.7 million units during January-March 2012. Samsung emerged as the leader in the smartphone segment with a 40.4% share, followed at No. 2 and No. 3 by Nokia with 25.5% and RIM with 12.3% share respectively.

    Table 3. India Mobile Handsets Market: Shares of leading Vendors in Smartphones*

    * Source: CyberMedia Research India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for 1Q 2012, June 2012 release

    In 1Q 2012, Samsung launched seven new smartphone models in India, further tightening its grip on sales in different price bands between INR 7,500 [$134] to INR 27,000 [$482]. This is the range in which the company sells its portfolio of smartphones currently. It excludes products like the Samsung Galaxy Note, which, with a 5″ screen is categorized under the category of media tablets / tablet PCs. Indian mobile handset vendors have also started aggressively widening their Android-based smartphones portfolio.

    Figure 2. India Mobile Handsets Market
    by Price Band in 1Q 2012:
    Converging Towards Two ‘Poles’

    *Source: CyberMedia Research, 2012

    “As the India mobile handsets market grows in maturity, the needs of users are clearly seen to be converging around two major form factorshigh-power, high-speed smartphones vis-à-vis value-plus, content-enabled featurephones. While most players are strong in a particular category, Samsung and others have been able to maintain a strong presence across the spectrum, driven mainly by innovation, quick time-to-market and a segmented approach”, stated Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research.

    “Players like Motorola and Sony have clearly chosen to stay in the ‘high value’ smartphones segment, which accounts for just 5.3% of shipments but added up to as much as 23.4% of the market value in 1Q 2012. Currently, large, international players like Nokia and RIM, as well as relatively new entrants like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava and Spice are faced with the challenge to enhance their portfolio of products, models and services, to stay relevant and profitable in the long run”, added Naveen Mishra, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice.

    India 3G Phones Market: Decline in Data Tariffs to Trigger Increase in Shipments?

    Shipments of multi-SIM handset category continued its rise, accounting for as much as 67.7% of total shipments in 1Q 2012. However, even more significantly, total shipments of 3G-enabled mobile handsets in the country touched 4.7 million units during 1Q 2012 (January-March 2012). While this was a decline of (-)7.8% over the 4Q 2011 (October-December 2011) ‘festival quarter’, it was a growth of 34.3% over 1Q 2011 (January-March 2011).

    “With the recently announced reduction in tariffs of 3G services by as much as 70% by leading India telecom service providers, the market for both 3G-enabled devices and mobile broadband-driven content is likely to see an upward trend in adoption in the forthcoming quarters”, stated Tarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice.

    Notes to Editors

    1. CyberMedia Research, India uses the term “shipments” to describe the number of handsets leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For the convenience of media, the term shipments has been replaced by ‘sales’ in the press release, but this reflects the market size in terms of units of mobile handsets and not their absolute value. In the case of handsets imported into the country it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. CyberMedia Research does not track the number of handsets brought on their person by individual passengers landing on Indian soil from overseas destinations or ‘grey market’ handsets. These are, therefore, not part of the CyberMedia Research numbers reported here.
    2. CyberMedia Research, India tracks shipments of mobile handsets on a monthly basis. However, as per convention, the market size may be reported on a calendar quarter basis where appropriate to the context; in all such cases this refers to an aggregated number for the three calendar months in the quarter to which the press release refers.

    – Lumia 800 price lowered by Nokia more than 20% to as low as US$ 471 (INR 23,490) in retail. This is said to be for the preparation of the Lumia 900 launch there. [March 3, 2012]

    – Lumia 710 US$ 309 (INR 15,490) [Jan. 23, 2012]

    Nokia Lumia Momentum Map [Nokia Maps Blog, Jan 15, 2012]

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, an interactive map is at least worth ten thousand words! To coincide with the launch of Nokia Lumia in USA; we launched the Nokia Lumia Momentum Map – an interactive way to check out the countries where Nokia Lumia smart phones are either available or will be coming soon. You can also check out the tweets, videos and photos from users about the Lumia series.

    The content of the Momentum Map as of Jan 15, 2012:

    Country Lumia 710 Lumia 800
    Germany Now Now
    Netherlands Now Now
    Italy Now Now
    Russia Now Now
    India Now Now
    Hong Kong Now Now
    Taiwan Now Now
    Singapore Now Now
    Spain Jan 11, 2012 Now
    United Kingdom Feb 1, 2012 Now
    USA (+ Lumia 900
    “in coming months”)
    Jan 11, 2012 Coming Soon
    France n.a. Now
    Austria Coming Soon Now
    Hungary Jan 20, 2012 Jan 20, 2012
    Greece Jan 21, 2012 Jan 20, 2012
    Portugal Feb 2, 2012 Jan 26, 2012
    Switzerland n.a. Jan 13, 2012
    Denmark n.a. Jan 20, 2012
    Sweden n.a. Jan 23, 2012
    Norway Feb 1, 2012 Feb 1, 2012
    Canada Feb, 2012 Feb, 2012
    Belgium Mar 1, 2012 Feb 1, 2012

    End of Updates

    Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) smartphones are already in heavy competition between Nokia and Samsung on the Indian market. The current mid-range retail price is ~$340 for both companies as shown below, while the lower end premium Lumia 800 is without competitive offering from Samsung side, yet it already costs only $526 and up. Note that in the first half of 2012 even these offerings will likely to go down with Lumia 710 (and Samsung Omina W) becoming a mass market smartphone in the range of $200-250, while the Lumia 800 a higher end mid-range smartphone with a price tag of $400-450. This is also proven by a companion post The new, high-volume market in China is ready to define the 2012 smartphone war [Jan 6, 2012].

    (After the details about the specifics of Nokia Lumia offerings please find as well two recent article excerpts about the ongoing fight between the two companies on the Indian market. Product information is from corresponding company product sites in India: Lumia 800, Lumia 710 and Omnia W. Lumia 800 is currently sold for $529 [listed for $899] on Amazon in USA, while in Germany for € 398 ($520) [listed for € 499 ($652)]. Lumia 710 price on Amazon in Germany is € 315 ($411) [listed for € 319 ($417)]. All Euro prices are inclusive German VAT! Note as well that Omina W is available as Focus Flash in the USA for $199 [listed for $299] unlocked as the lowest retail price.)

    Nokia Lumia-800-710 compared to Samsung Omnia W -- 3-Jam-2012

    While all the advantages are shown in red ink above, the biggest advantages for Lumias are:
    The leading ClearBlack display technology from Nokia [Dec 18, 2011]
    Corning Gorilla Glass (wikipedia article)
    Best practice industrial and user experience design – Nokia and Microsoft [Dec 17, 2011] where an absolutely leading edge industrial design achievement of “seamless design with curved glass and one-piece body made of polycarbonate plastic“ of Nokia N9 has been re-applied by Nokia for Lumia 800 as well. More understanding of that you could see in this Nokia N9 Journey [nokia, Oct 24, 2011] video:

    A story about the making of the most beautifully simple smartphone.

    Nokia Lumia 800 Uncovered: Battery Life [nokia, Nov 16, 2011]

    In this film, we see how great the Nokia Lumia 800 battery is and see how simple it is not only to check the status of the battery but also how to prolong its life with “battery saver.” The phone offers over 10 hours of talk time and over 50 hours of music play back time. You won’t miss a moment either on social or on a call! A big thanks to the presenter: Aditya from http://worldofphones.net/ Follow us on Twitter here – http://nokia.ly/j7zixs Or connect with us on Facebook here – http://nokia.ly/hWCnbn

    There is also significant advantage in the bundled cloud services described in Nokia Lumia (Windows Phone 7) value proposition [Oct 26, 2011] as the “Three Unique Differentiators”:
    – Free Nokia Music and MixRadio
    – Free Navigation
    – Free ESPN Sports Hub
    The latter is not available in India (obviously) but something similar may be introduced later, designed especially for India’s sport fans.

    Music and Entertainment – Nokia Lumia 710 [nokia, Jan 2, 2012]

    Experience the amazing everyday and see just why the Nokia Lumia 710 http://nokia.ly/s04wrf is not your everyday, everyday phone. With access to millions of songs in Nokia Music and Mix Radio, your ears need never be bored again. The best in mobile phone entertainment gives you more than just click and play. You can create your own channels based on the artists you like, or let Mix Radio create a personalised experience based on the music you already have in your library. Throw in the ability to record and watch HD video wherever you are, and you’ll be entertained for hours. Music and Entertainment is one in a series of 6 quick introduction demos to the wonderful world of Nokia Lumia. Each video highlights different hubs and features, letting you dive deeper into the world of Nokia with Windows Phone. Follow us on Twitter here – http://nokia.ly/j7zixs Connect with us on Facebook here – http://nokia.ly/hWCnbn

    Nokia Lumia Presents: Little Amazing Show – Episode 6: India [nokia, Jan 3, 2012]

    Four Indian cities, one synchronized flash mob. Find other little ideas to make the everyday more amazing on our Facebook page: http://nokia.ly/sYguNx

    Also check out our other Little Amazing Shows:
    Episode 1: Berlin http://nokia.ly/vTphrR
    Episode 2: London http://nokia.ly/u8uj0G
    Episode 3: Madrid http://nokia.ly/uWAYMy
    Episode 4: Night http://nokia.ly/uzwtJq
    Episode 5: Paris http://nokia.ly/uwWYCv
    For more information on Nokia Lumia visit http://nokia.ly/rZWC93

    Nokia banks on Lumia to be game changer in smartphone mkt [Jan 3, 2011]

    Over the last year, Nokia’s fortunes took a turn for the worse, with its market share sliding downwards, losing its number one position in smartphones to Samsung, both, globally and in India. CNBC-TV18’s Anuradha Sengupta met Nokia’s managing director D Shivakumar and got him talking on why its newest phone, its first in collaboration with Microsoft – the Lumia will be a game changer for the Finnish company.

    Q: What makes the Lumia a game changer?

    A: When we made this announcement most people thought it was a defensive kind of a move, but in the last nine months it has completely realigned the ecosystem in telecom. So it has been a big game changer, not just for Nokia, but for everybody out there in the ecosystem. Nokia is giving it’s very best in terms of promoting it, in terms of the look and feel of the product, in terms of what’s available on it and more importantly in terms of the local apps that we have in India for the Lumia 800 and 710.

    Q: Will the Lumia’s success be a make or break for Nokia’s future leadership position in the smartphone category?

    A: I would say making Nokia Lumia work is plan A. Plan B is making Nokia Lumia work.

    Q: I have been hearing statements that you have made a reaction to comments that when it came to this end of the market, the dual SIM card phone was a game changer and that is where you have admitted in interviews and conversations that it was a mistake, that Nokia did not cotton on to it. Why was this?

    A: The early signals we picked were more than three years ago and we didn’t even say dual SIM, we actually talked of triple SIM. We could see it coming. Technology is global in nature, especially in this category. No one country can give you sufficient volume to build your own variant because of 17 operators, because of the price war between the operators led to the concept of dual SIM, it was not seen in most other places.

    Doing a dual SIM phone for an operator buying anywhere else in the world would be like waving a red flag. It’s a host of factors. It has nothing to do with not reading the market or not seeing the consumer.

    Samsung ambushes Nokia in smartphone war [The Economic Times [India], Jan 2, 2011]

    In a packed theatre, scores of excited movie buffs sat through a long march of commercials patiently, but the organisers were dismayed. It was an exclusive premier of SRK-starrer Ra.One for mobile phone maker Nokia’s premium users at PVR Select City Walk mall in Delhi, but the advertisements that had been running for the previous few minutes were of Samsung mobile!

    That was in October. Two months later, when Nokia rolled out Lumia cabs in Bangalore as part of its biggest marketing drive in the country to promote its first Windows smartphone, Samsung brought out its own Omnia cab and stationed it outside the Lumia showroom for a few days.

    Analysts call it ambush marketing, Samsung says it’s not. Whatever, but the cut-throat competition between the country’s top two mobile handset players looks like the old Cola War between Coca-Cola and PepsiCo and refreshes memories of Pepsi’s ‘Nothing official about it’ campaign during the 1996 cricket World Cup that introduced the concept of ambush marketing in India.

    “We do not acknowledge, react or engage in ambush marketing,” a Nokia spokesperson says. “We believe in responsible marketing, where we will disclose more than what is required to our consumers, as we did in the case of the minor software glitch in Lumia 800.”

    Samsung denies ambushing Nokia, and says both the examples were part of independent marketing initiatives. “We were running a media innovation in October for tablets wherein all screens at Ambience Mall PVR and Inox in Mumbai showed the ads,” a Samsung spokeswoman says.


    Samsung has emerged the most aggressive mobile handset maker over the past couple of years. It pipped Apple as the world’s top smartphone player during the July-September quarter last year and in India, GfK data suggests Samsung may have already overtaken Nokia as the largest smartphone vendor in value terms, thanks to the rising popularity of its Google Android phones led by the Galaxy range.

    The marketing war in India has intensified after Nokia rolled out its first Windows-based smartphone, Lumia, last month. Samsung has started pushing its own Windows smartphone Omnia, launched more than a year ago, harder.

    An email comparing Lumia 800 and Omnia W features and concluding ‘Why donate 9,000 extra to Nokia’ is in circulation. While Samsung denies any connection with the mail, Nokia says ambush marketing is not about deriding the other brand. “Ambush marketing, if done in a creative manner, appeals to the consumers,” says a Nokia spokesperson. “It’s not a crude attack on the rival.”

    Some marketing experts believe Samsung is playing it smart. “Competition is all about being opportunistic and scoring a goal when the rival is least prepared. And that’s where Samsung has proved to be a better player,” says Saurabh Uboweja, director of brand consulting and design firm Brands of Desire.

    Even if customers think Samsung played the smart Alec, it won’t hurt the brand as the ambush creates the perception of a smart, witty and on-the-go brand, says Uboweja.

    “It’s much like the customers today who don’t feel guilty about pulling a leg or playing a prank on their peers,” he adds.


    Former advertising professional and chick lit writer Anuja Chauhan says focused ambushing is better than rapid-fire ambushing. “It makes more sense to keep it (ambush) more informative and publicise it,” says Chauhan, who came up with the ‘Nothing official about it’ tagline for Pepsi in 1996.

    The aim of the ambush is to leverage the strength of the competitor. It has to be smart and not say derogatory things about the competitor, she says. An independent analyst says Samsung’s strategy won’t affect Nokia.

    “Even in a war, ambush is the recourse of an upstart, and not of the ruler,” says the analyst, requesting anonymity. “At best, ambush can be a tactical move. But it won’t hurt Nokia.”

    YLR Moorthi, professor (marketing), IIM-Bangalore, says ambush marketing somehow speaks of a company not confident of holding out in the open. “Samsung is a challenger in the mobile market in India. So, they might be seeking out opportunities to hurt Nokia,” he says.

    And it has managed to bridge the gap with Nokia considerably in the smartphone segment, which accounts for some 8% of the 213-million Indian handset market. According to latest IDC figures, Nokia accounted for 35.3% of all smartphone shipments in the country during the July-September quarter last year, followed by Samsung at 26%.

    In the overall mobile phone market, the market shares are 31.8% and 17.5%, respectively, for Nokia and Samsung. Deepak Kumar, research director (telecommunications & mobile phones) at IDC India, says the smartphone landscape in India will remain fluid for the next couple of quarters.

    The picture would start becoming clear in the second half of 2012, when the various operating system platforms would have mostly unfolded their plays across a variety of hardware,” says Kumar.

    Nokia to launch Windows-based Lumia in India today [The Times of India, Dec 16, 2011]

    Nokia has unleashed its biggest-ever marketing campaign in India for the launch of its Windows-based smartphone Lumia on Friday, so as to keep itself relevant in a market being swarmed by Google Android phones such as Samsung Galaxyrange.Called The Amazing Everyday, the campaign includes impromptu dance performance by a foreign troupe in Mumbai; a luxury helicopter ride for consumers in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai; exclusive premiere for pre-bookers with tennis star Sania Mirza at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon late on Thursday; a mega musical event in Delhi on Friday, and toll exemption for more than 15,000 cars at DND Freeway connecting Delhi and Noida on Friday, among several others including aggressive advertisement across different media platforms, to connect with the young consumers across top cities.”It’s a gamechanger for us,” says Nokia India Marketing Director Viral Oza. “We have redefined what we mean to the consumers.” Analysts call it a desperate attempt to reclaim ground in the smartphone market. “Nokia is desperate to make Lumia work,” says Saurabh Uboweja, director of brand consulting and design firm Brands of Desire.”If Lumia flops, Nokia is likely to become conservative in marketing.” Lumia is Nokia’s first serious offering in smartphones comparable to Apple iPhone and top Android phones of Samsung, HTC and Motorola. And the Finnish firm, which still dominates the Indian handset market with a 30% share, is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to make Lumia a success.Apart from an extensive experiential marketing, the handset major rolled out an internal campaign for its employees from December 12-16. So, it was WOW Monday for Nokia staff, who discovered a giant life-size Lumia in office and were asked to tap on it to get gifts such as chocolates, laptop stickers and Rubik cubes.On Kinetic Tuesday, scooties were placed around office for employees to have fun rides; on Surprise Wednesday, employees went around office hunting for magic boxes; and they put on their dancing shoes on Foottapping Thursday.On Friday, the officewill remain closed and all employees will be in the market to attend the big launch events. Abhishek Chauhan, senior consultant (ICT practice) at Frost & Sullivan, says Nokia’s first Windows-based smartphone will get a momentum from the extensive marketing campaign.”But the momentum can be sustained only if the product works,” he says. And, not many experts see Lumia as a game changer. “Lumia might pose serious competition, but it’s definitely not a game changer,” says Uboweja of Brands of Desire.”There is nothing so exciting in the product that is way beyond or different from other smartphones.” Experts are particularly critical of Nokia’s decision to use only Symbian and Windows platforms for its phones, and leave the world’s most popular Android OS out.This is the first product under the Nokia-Microsoft partnership and the stakes are high for Nokia. “Nokia may get the knockout punch if Lumia fails to inspire consumer imagination,” says Uboweja.

    India Handset Shipments, Vendor Market Share, Strategies and Key Trends Q3’2011 [Research and Markets report release announcement, Jan 4, 2012]

    This report provides an in-depth assessment of handset shipments, vendor market share, strategies and key trends in Q3’2011 for the mobile handsets industry in India. Mobile handset shipments in India have been increasing and they were highest in 2010 with 146.93 million units. The shipments in 2011 are expected to reach all time high as the shipment for 3 quarters in 2011 is 125.32 million units. By the end of Q4’2011, a yearly figure of 162 million units is expected.

    India has been one of the major players in the Asia Pacific handset shipments and since 2009 India has been able to capture more than 20% of the overall Asia Pacific shipments, with a market share of over There has been quarter on quarter growth in the handset shipments in India barring a few exceptions in two quarters.

    Local manufacturing has been very beneficial for mobile handset makers in India and many Indian players are manufacturing the product locally. All the other players, who do not have the local manufacturing, are planning to start the manufacturing to get away with the problems of currency exchange rates and supply side spikes.

    Nokia has been the top player in the Indian mobile handset market and it has achieved a market share of 29.44% in 2011 for all the three quarters. Nokia has been losing its share to new entrants and local players in the Indian market. Samsung is coming strongly and it is in the second place with 14.34% market share. The share of Samsung is up by 14.63% from 2010. Though all the players are trying to gain market share but still Nokia is way above all of them and it will take a long time before anyone else can take the lead position. Local playersMicromax, Maxx, Lava and Videocon are gaining market share and most of them have launched low cost phones with features such as dual-SIM, long battery life etc. Local players also have the advantage of local manufacturing.

    Smartphone sales to double in 2012 [The Times of India, Jan 5, 2012]

    … smartphones are expected to double sales this year from nearly nine million units, and lead the growth in the segment.

    Smartphones have grown from a 2% share to 6% of the overall mobile market, estimated at 150 million units. Priced in the range Rs 6,000 to Rs 40,000, smartphones have witnessed a deep penetration not only among business executives, but also among youth for on-the-go entertainment and functional use.

    “Smartphones and convergence devices like the Galaxy Note and tablets are showing a strong adoption in the market linked with the growing consumer need for staying connected with their friends /family /work, while being on the move as well as personalizing them by downloading applications”, says Ranjit Yadav, country head, Samsung Mobile & IT.

    Samsung, which has a portfolio of 13 smartphones across platforms, emerged as the leader with the largest value and volume market share in November.

    Factors which have spurred growth in these devices are affordability and availability across operating platforms – Windows, Android and bada. Industries are increasingly applying mobile services in banking, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and healthcare, while automotive, logistics and consumer goods companies are using them to streamline inventory management, track demand, and manage shelf space.

    The market dominated by Samsung, Nokia and RIM is expected to get more crowded with the entry of Chinese and other domestic companies this year.



    1. […] opportunities with location-based services, better photographic experience etc. [Jan 12, 2012] – The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India [Jan 3, 2012] – The leading ClearBlack display technology from Nokia [Dec 18, 2011] – Nokia Lumia […]

    2. […] The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India[Jan 3, […]

    3. […] end-to-end software solution for “the next billion” Nokia users [Jan 9, 2012] – The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India [Jan 3 – 23, 2012] – Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now […]

    4. […] information see: – Core post: Nokia Design direction [this same blog, Aug 1 – Oct 29, 2012] – The precursor of 2012 smartphone war: Nokia Lumia vs. Samsung Omnia W in India [this same blog, Jan 3 – July 9, 2012]- Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion” based on […]

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