Nokia aims to recapture market

Updated: 2013-07-12 12:24

By Zhang Yuwei in New York (China Daily)

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Nokia aims to recapture market

Stephen Elop, president and CEO of Nokia, unveils Lumia 1020 at the product launch in New York on Thursday. Caroline Berg / China Daily

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia launched its new Lumia 1020 camera phone, hoping to attract more consumers in China, which is the company's largest and "fundamental" market, said Jo Harlow, executive vice-president of the company's smartphone business in New York.

"It will get people talking about Nokia because Chinese consumers love technology, and they love hearing and reading and talking about the latest technology," said Harlow at the product launch.

"People often characterize China as being all about low-end smartphones, but actually all of the segments of smartphones are robust in the Chinese market," she said.

The new Lumia, with a 41-megapixel sensor, uses Windows software. It will be sold through US carrier AT&T at price of $299.99 on a two-year contract starting on July 26 before it is available in China and key European markets this quarter, the company said.

Unlike other smartphones on the market today, the Nokia Lumia 1020 reinvents zoom, enabling people to discover more detail than the eye can see. With Nokia's PureView technology, including optical image stabilization, the device is able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera.

"We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives," said Stephen Elop, president and CEO, Nokia, as he unveiled the product. "The Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia's leadership in imaging."

The brand tries to stand out in the Chinese market - which is unique because it has both foreign and domestic competitors - by focusing on differentiating between camera and music technology," said Harlow. "The way we stand out is by creating a great experience in the high end and then bringing them all the way through our portfolio."

Harlow said China and the US are the "two heartbeats" where the trends in smartphones come from and influence the rest of the world.

"The Chinese market influences other markets, particularly in Asia, and increasingly wider than that region," said Harlow. "So the Chinese market it is very fundamental to our growth strategy for the future."

China has overtaken the US to become the world's largest smartphone market, a shift that made emerging markets lead the trends in smartphone technology.

In China, Nokia's rivals are Korean brand Samsung - the country's No 1 seller - and American brand Apple, as well as domestic brands such as Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE.

Nokia was China's top smartphone vendor in 2011, with market share sliding to 3.7 percent last year, it became the No 7 vendor, according to Strategy Analytics.

Harlow said the company continues to focus on smartphone apps development in the Chinese market.

"Obviously, consumers who are using the smartphones today have apps they like to use and we need to make sure that we are offering the same apps with the same features and functionality for those consumers," said Harlow.

The company has made "good progress" in its largest market in the size of its catalogue and relevance of its apps to Chinese consumers.

"But we have more work to do to continue to grow and to attract even more consumers," she added.

(China Daily USA 07/12/2013 page10)