Nokia takes a dig at competition at Lumia 920 launch
Finnish handset maker on Thursday launched the much awaited Lumia 920 for Rs 38,199 and Lumia 820 for Rs 27,599 on the Windows 8 platform, but used the event to compare key features of these devices vis-a-vis competition, signaling an aggressive stance as it attempts to stay relevant in the high-end smartphone space.
At the media event in Delhi, Nokia carried out a series of live demonstrations, including flying a quad-copter with the Lumia and competing handsets from Samsung (Galaxy S III) attached to it to showoff the 920's video quality, as the beleaguered handset major goes all out to recapture the market share it lost, especially in the smartphone space in India.
Nokia however had camouflaged the identity of the devices during comparison.
According to Cyber media research, Nokia's share in the smartphone market in India was 19.2% for the first six months of 2012, far behind Samsung that commanded a 41.6% share.
The media event also witnessed Nokia playing a video by onlygizoms.com which tested the Lumia 920's imaging and video recording abilities against that of the HTC Windows phone 8X, and backed the Finnish company's claims of better video quality. Nokia executives also took pictures in a dark room using the Lumia and a competitor's device to showcase their claims on the device's picture quality.
A senior executive at Nokia said that the company was taking this step purposefully - to gain share in the smartphone market.
Globally, Nokia is betting on the latest range from Lumia line will bring about its long-hoped for recovery. On Thursday, Nokia said its fourth quarter results had exceeded expectations and added that the sales of its Windows-based Lumia had nearly doubled, when compared the previous quarter in the same year. This is the first increase in its smartphone numbers in a year.
The company's shares surged as much as 18% after it announced that its mobile phone business had become profitable again on an underlying basis in Q4. In a statement, Nokia's chief executive described its fourth-quarter performance as 'solid'.
At the event in Delhi, Nokia said that it comparisons with competition were done 'with respect'.
"Yes, we want to go and share with the consumer that these are phones that are differentiating and innovating vis-a-vis those available in the market. No one will listen if I just say that we have the best phone. I have to show it in an experiential way and one way to show it is to compare it with others," said Vipul Mehrotra, Nokia India's head of smartphones division.*
The Helsinki based company has rarely pegged its products to be better than the competition in the open market. The only instance of such a move was last year when it launched the 'Blown Away by Lumia' campaign where it asked consumers to test the Lumia 900 and admit that they were indeed 'blown away' if the Lumia turned out to be better than the smartphone used by them at that moment.*
The campaign got a lot of attention on social media although its biggest competitor Samsung said Nokia's move was 'unethical.'*
However, Mehrotra said Nokia it will continue to adopt this change in stance and strategy in the future to get back lost market share.
* Nokia will take comparative marketing down to the retailers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore where Lumia and other high-end devices will be compared for consumers willing to upgrade to smartphones.*
For instance, Nokia will set up small dark room-box in high-footfall retail outlets to show how Lumia's better picture in low light conditions. Retailers will be equipped with a handheld stand to demonstrate Lumia's image stablisation feature in comparison with smartphones from other brands.* Nokia's new smartphone devices will be available for sale from Friday. The Lumia 620 will be launched in the first week of February may cost around Rs 15,000, say Nokia watchers. Nokia takes a dig at competition at Lumia 920 launch - The Economic Times