Currently, the Indian smartphone market is being dominated by various Chinese vendors, majorly Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo, and Vivo. Xiaomi has heavily focussed on the online-only business model that gave the company freedom to offer spec-heavy devices at cutthroat prices. While other three brands Lenovo, Oppo, and Vivo are selling phones both offline and online, but with somewhat higher price tags.
In the next one month from now or maybe later, Finnish brand Nokia will re-enter the Indian market, but this time under the leadership of HMD Global, a Finnish startup formed to license and sell Nokia devices. Nokia is known for sturdy devices along with affordable price tags. However, it’s interesting to see how HMD will price the Nokia phones in the country.
Going by the global pricing, the devices are priced on a higher side with the Nokia 6 setting you back by around $241 (approx. Rs. 15,500). That said, the price of Nokia 6 may be decreased to attract the Indian customers. On the flip side, the price could be increased if HMD goes with a mindset that consumers in India are waiting for Nokia phones and will purchase them even with higher price tags.
These are the two instances which HMD will work on. If the company goes with the first case and decrease the price of its phones, then Nokia will be a serious contender to Xiaomi in India.
Until now, no company has matched Xiaomi’s aggressive pricing strategy. The one which matched was LeEco, but the company is reportedly shutting down its business in the country, and it has been a while since we saw a device launch from them. Other brands that gave close competition to Xiaomi includes Coolpad, whose devices are not that sturdy as the ones from Xiaomi.
The Nokia 6 has slightly better hardware than the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime, which is retailing for Rs. 8999 in India. Even if Nokia manages to keep the device’s price at Rs. 10,999 or something around that, it will be a deal breaker for many out there. The Nokia 6, of course, looks way better than the Redmi 3s Prime.
Other Nokia devices such as the Nokia 5, Nokia 3, and the iconic Nokia 3310 (2017) also feature competitive hardware under-the-hood with the Nokia 3 aimed at entry-level phones such as Redmi 4A.
Also, Nokia phones have an advantage in the software department as well. Ahead of the global launch, Nokia has pushed out the Android 7.1.1 update for the Nokia 6 which makes it one among the few phones available today to have received the update. So, Nokia phones are clearly ahead of other phones in the software department.
What if HMD chooses the second path and price the devices way more than what they should be or what we would want them to be? Well, the devices will indeed sell in a good number, but again, the company won’t be able to match Xiaomi’s sales. So, let’s hope that HMD won’t choose the second path.