23 thoughts on “Cell Phone Nation”

  1. An interesting point here is that Nokia has over $14B in the bank – can they spend their way back to the top by cutting products (N-Gage) and maybe firing the current product team and refocus on good products? I think these two issues are key to Nokia. Their products seem dated and old (don’t see a lot of Nokia phones here in the States for mostly pricing reasons but also for features I believe) and their declines in their markets speak to that.

    Looking through their last 10-K (actually called something else), the data speaks volumes – from 2002 to 2003, Nokia had the following declines: -2% in Finland, -4% in USA, -13% in Britain, +24% in Germany, -28% in China (very scary), and +2% growth in the “other category” – which includes India. Overall, they had declines of -2% across all markets.

    But Om – specifically in India – it sounds like brand matters – will this benefit Nokia?

    Thoughts appreciated….

  2. Oh, and I meant to add, which was the point of mentioning the $14B – could Nokia also cut prices to make their handsets more attractive to the carriers?

  3. damian

    i am currently working on a piece on the handset business and hopefully it will be out by end of the week. it will give you a complete low down on nokia and other brands. however, nokia sells well here, except those models which are cheap enough for the consumers. nokia is not the premium brand here – sony ericsson is. and when people think handsets, well it is mostly samsung and LG

  4. So Nokia is selling low-end phones in India…that makes sense. But are you saying that Sony Ericsson as well as Samsung and LG are premium brands here? or just Sony Ericsson?

  5. no SE is a premium brand because that is the strategy they adopted, se stands for serious money. snob appeal is huge. nokia is pushing 7600 – not much in sales at the top end

  6. The ‘brand’ feel depends heavily on where you live and observe it from.

    The days when Nokia could make success out of industry where others were not even making profits on is maybe gone. Still, by the numbers Nokia is FAR from dead and could probably do negative profits(which it isn’t doing) for few _years_ before facing ‘the end'(when compared to other players they are huge).

    SE has zero snob appeal here anyways(except p900).

    and the biggest market doesn’t care about snob values either, they just want a trusty phone(that is why 3330 has been manufactured at least near to this day, even though it’s an ooooold model).

    what’s the deal with email being ‘optional’, yet it’s required?

  7. I couldn’t help but smile at your description of India’s manic obsession with cell phones. Om, trust me this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    With players like Reliance Infocomm (my employer) pushing for making the cell phones more accessible by reducing the call rates, you can bet that this market is set of explode.

    And inspite of other models having trendy hi-end handsets, there is something comforting, reliable and robust about a Nokia handset. I personally use Nokia 2100 after a bad experience with a Motorola handset.

    This blog post was a great read overall.


  8. It’s hard to believe but yeah people are going crazy about phones. You must see the fruit-vendors in south delhi with there cellphones as well 🙂

    Btw on last count number of cell phones in India is half that of fixed lines.

    Well there are reasons here

    – As a general market reason, I think people are fed-up of the BSNL’s stodgy attitude towards phones.
    Though the private operators of fixed lines are doing good, but cell phones have really taken off

    – Too much of competition has crashed the prices. I remember when I first used the phone in year 2000, the incoming & out going rates were Rs8/min (not to mention Rs 16/min in 1996-97 when it started. On the last account (8 months ago) I used my phone with no incoming charge and out going at Rs 0.5/min
    This has also something to do with what Sumit Dhar calls “Reliance’s influence”

  9. I think the pressure of depleting margins will drive consolidation. The wireless infrastructure is still poor and most of the models sold are outdated. There is no wireless broadband infrastructure. Under these circumstances, where will service providers get revenues? I expect the market to consolidate and head downwards unless the broadband market picks up steam in India.

  10. Mr. Malik,

    I found this entry very interesting. I’m working on a class project regarding the cell phone market. You said that the majority of the market in India is most concerned with having a reliable phone. Is there any general interest in web capable phones? Or Bluetooth-enabled phones? If not, why not? Is it a price issue? Any information you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  11. The wireless phenomenon in India is amazing and by the end of the year or early next year we will make history when mobile phones exceed the no of fixed lines. But I think we are also on the cusp of another kind of history. Vendors are now rolling out some innovations in this country. The GPRS video downloads that Hutch started off were the first real-time video downloads on mobile phones anywhere in the world.
    Wireless broadband is going to be big here – on the lines of countries like Korea etc

  12. dear sales,this is the voice of mrs browns owner of paulogoodandstore in southAfrica and Nigeria.i will like to place an order in your store and i will like to know weather you ship to NIgeria or Southafrica.i will like to ship just 7(psc)of sony ericson p900 phone.i need a reply mail immadately cos my customers are in need of it.
    best regard
    mrs brown
    MD of paulogoodand store .

  13. Pingback: Richard Giles blog
  14. Pingback: Gizmodo
  15. Pingback: Not Really Indian
  16. Pingback: Gizmodo
  17. Pingback: Dancing with Dogs
  18. Pingback: Operation Gadget
  19. Pingback: ludacris pictures
  20. Sony Ericsson is growing as the as the market champion in India.With the launch of the new 8.1megapixel C905 SE is creating history.And the new W760 with dual speakers and 3.2 mp cam with xenon flash is an comparablely great phone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.