Smartphone brands are now jumping into the Smart TV space, after seeing what Xiaomi has achieved in the segment in a span of just one year. In the last three months, we have seen brands like OnePlus and Motorola launching Smart TVs in the country, and very soon, Nokia will launch a new Smart TV in the Indian market. Flipkart, the leading e-commerce marketplace, today announced its strategic partnership with Nokia which will allow it to use the iconic Nokia brand for Smart TVs in India. Nokia did not launch any Smart TV until and this partnership is a global first for the brand in the TV category. For the unaware, Motorola also announced Smart TVs in collaboration with Flipkart itself.
Nokia Smart TVs Incoming: What Should We Expect
According to Flipkart, this partnership with Nokia will leverage the understanding of the needs of Indian consumers to develop, facilitate the manufacturing and distribution of the Nokia branded Smart TVs. At the same time, Flipkart will also manage the end-to-end market strategy as well. So it seems like there's no involvement of Nokia in developing the Smart TVs, except for the branding. It's also said that the Motorola Smart TVs which the company launched were a rebranded variants of MarQ Smart TVs. For the unaware, MarQ is a private brand of Flipkart which sells home appliances and electronic items.
In the press release, Flipkart confirmed that the Nokia brand Smart TVs will come with superior speakers powered by JBL's sound programme. JBL by Harman is known for some best audio products in the industry and this partnership with Flipkart with be its first foray into the television space.
The partnership is backed by Flipkart’s consumer insights, which found that poor sound quality and experience is a major pain point for customers purchasing televisions, says Flipkart.
Right now, Flipkart did not reveal when the first Nokia Smart TV will be launched, but with the partnership details coming out, we can expect them to come out in the next few weeks.
Nokia Smart TVs May Run Android TV Platform
A couple of years ago, Google's Android TV platform wasn't that popular in India and across the world. Only a few brands used the platform on their Smart Set-Top Boxes, dongles and Smart TVs. However, the usage of Android TV has increased in India, especially after the launch of Xiaomi's Smart TVs in India. Initially, Xiaomi launched its first set of Smart TVs in the country based on the AOSP build of Android TV. But later on, the company shifted to full-fledged Android TV platform. OnePlus TVs and Motorola Smart TVs also run Android TVs out of the box. Other brands like TCL, Kodak, Vu and so on are also making use of Android TV itself.
We're expecting the Nokia Smart TVs to run Android TV itself. The Nokia brand Smart TVs from Flipkart may be identical to the Motorola Smart TVs in terms of core specs like the display, hardware and remote. However, there will be some differences in the sound and other aspects. It will be interesting to see how the first Nokia Smart TVs will be received by the consumers. And the most important aspect would be pricing and the segment which Flipkart wants to target- premium or affordable. OnePlus targeted the premium Smart TV segment, whereas Xiaomi has earned its name as the best budget Smart TV brand in the country.