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Will mix of nostalgia and tech help iconic Nokia 3310 make a comeback?

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New Delhi, Feb 26

Born in the year 2000, it had a dark blue body, emitted a deep green light from its tiny screen, and housed a charming game called “Snake”. And an entire generation grew up loving the iconic Nokia 3310.

Then came the Nokia 1100 in 2003 — a sturdy affair with an inbuilt torch — which quickly became the best-selling consumer electronics device of its time.

It was the Golden Age of Nokia — with hardly a competitor in sight.

Inevitably, though, the age passed, and Nokia devices, with their “indestructible” bodies and long-lasting batteries, disappeared after ruling the Indian market for several years.

But they left behind two key legacies: a brand with great recall value, and a wide and surviving sales network.

With market buzz suggesting that the 3310 is set to make a comeback — perhaps as early as May — the brand recall and sales network can only help.

The relaunch will be accompanied by some Android-based phones like the Nokia 6 — to be launched in China on February 26 — and the Nokia 8, to be showcased at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which begins on February 27.

Are the ever-evolving, 4G-conscious Indian smartphone consumers likely to embrace an upgraded 3310, which is expected to cost a little over Rs 4,000?

“We have to understand that, in India, we still have people who don’t have a mobile phone. And if Nokia, with its adequate distribution network, is able to tap that near-edge market, the 3310 has the potential to do wonders and become a leading handset,” Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, Telecoms, CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.

“There is still enough of India that can consume it. After all, in India, three of the top 20 handsets that are deployed are still from Nokia,” Kawoosa added.

Mobile handset shipments touched 265 million in 2016 with feature phones making up about 59 per cent of the overall market. It is a strong reaffirmation of the fact that it would take quite a bit longer for India to become a smartphone-only market.

“Two-thirds of the Indian market is still feature phones, and among feature phones, 3310 was the king. It is going to be a niche product but we have no reason to believe it cannot be successful,” Jaideep Mehta, Managing Director, IDC South Asia, told IANS.

According to Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, one of the biggest challenges for the new Nokia would be to live up to its legacy.

“Users will not look at Nokia as a start-up, but rather as a billion dollar company of the past. To convert this challenge into an opportunity, Nokia needs an impressive start. I think the new Nokia should differentiate its products from the experience perspective rather than mere specifications and target the mid-end smartphone segment,” Pathak told IANS.

After acquiring Nokia for $7.2 billion in 2013, Microsoft soon realised it had made a huge mistake and sold off the company’s phone-making business to Apple’s supply-chain partner Foxconn.

Nokia announced last year that it had licensed Finnish company HMD Global to produce Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

HMD has reached agreements with both Microsoft and Nokia for the use of the Nokia brand and some design rights. HMD is planning to spend some 400 million euros to market the Nokia brand for the next three years.

When it comes to smartphones, people would expect the same reliability from Nokia as they did with their feature phones.

“People who started their mobile phone journey with a Nokia are over 30 years of age. So, the biggest challenge for Nokia to succeed in smartphones would be to connect with teenagers and youth who drive smartphone sales, either by being the primary users or by influencing their elders to take a decision,” Kawoosa explained.

For Nokia to make some inroads in the smartphone segment, it needs to leverage the wide base of users who have actually experienced using a Nokia — and somehow ensure today’s buyers are influenced by them.

“Say, something like ‘offers for parents to gift a Nokia smartphone to their children’ to pass on the trust to the next generation,” Kawoosa suggested.

Nokia has to keep it simple. It’s known for its hardware and that is where it should be playing, the experts said.

“Launching products like the 3310 is more likely a strategy to bring alive the emotions and connect that users had with Nokia as a brand in the past. It is a good strategy to start with. And India will be a critical market as close to 145 million feature phones will be sold in the country in 2017,” Pathak said.

“People still remember the reliability and sturdiness of the devices. There is no doubt that it will help Nokia gain some foothold in the market as a new entrant,” Mehta said.

IANS

By Nishant Arora

(Nishant Arora can be contacted at [email protected])

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OnePlus 6 beats its 5T’s one-day sales record in 10 minutes

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New Delhi, May 22: Smartphone maker OnePlus on Tuesday said it made a record sale of its newly-launched OnePlus 6 worth Rs 100 crore within first 10 minutes of its preview sale on Amazon India and its own online store–oneplus.in.

Highlighting the enthusiasm of users in the country, Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India, told IANS, “We sold last year’s flagship–OnePlus 5T worth Rs 100 crore in an entire day of sale whereas this time we did the same in just 10 minutes.”

The mirror black colour variant of OnePlus 6 saw a higher demand as compared to midnight black version of the device.

“OnePlus 6 is our best-ever smartphone and we knew that it will do well. The mirror black variant of OnePlus 6 was more in demand during the first sale,” Aggarwal added.

In an attempt to let OnePlus enthusiasts and prospective buyers have the opportunity to be among the first ones to experience and purchase its newly-launched OnePlus 6, the smartphone maker on Monday launched a pop-up sale in eight cities across the country.

Unlike previous years, the company extended the pop-up sale to two days that let users get a hands-on experience of their latest flagship on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The smartphone is priced starting at Rs 34,999 and is offered in three colour variants.

OnePlus launched its flagship OnePlus 6 in India, a first in the OnePlus’ line-up featuring an all-glass design last week.

The device will be available for open sales across all channels, starting May 22, in 6GB RAM+64GB storage and 8GB RAM+128GB options for Rs 34,999 and Rs 39,999, respectively.

Image result for one plus 6

The smartphone features 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED display with 19:9 aspect ratio for immersive viewing experience.

“With the OnePlus 6, we challenged ourselves to deliver an external design as smooth and elegant as the work we’ve done inside the device,” said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau.

OnePlus 6 is powered by Qualcomm’s top-notch Snapdragon 845 chipset which improves performance by 30 per cent while being 10 per cent more power efficient.

OnePlus 6 has a dual-camera system with 16MP main camera, supported by a 20MP secondary camera.

With a f/1.7 aperture, the 16MP main camera features a 19 per cent larger sensor and OIS.

The device also marks the introduction of OnePlus’ “Slow-Motion” mode, which can capture high-definition video frame-by-frame with astonishing detail, ensuring users never miss the action.

The “OnePlus 6 x Marvel Avengers Limited Edition” device will be available with 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage for Rs 44,999 and will go on sale, starting May 29.

The limited-edition silk white device with 128GB of storage will be available for purchase on June 5 for Rs 39,999.

Users can avail cashback of Rs 2,000 while using SBI debit and credit card during the first week of launch, the company said earlier.

IANS

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OnePlus 6 with all-glass design now in India

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Mumbai, May 17: With the aim to make a dent in the premium smartphone market, Chinese player OnePlus on Thursday launched its flagship OnePlus 6 in India — a first in the OnePlus’ line-up featuring an all-glass design.

The device will be available for open sales across all channels, starting May 22 — in 6GB RAM + 64GB storage and 8GB RAM and 128GB options for Rs 34,999 and Rs 39,999, respectively.

The smartphone features 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED display with 19:9 aspect ratio for immersive viewing experience.

Image result for one plus 6

“With the OnePlus 6, we challenged ourselves to deliver an external design as smooth and elegant as the work we’ve done inside the device,” OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau, told reporters here.

OnePlus 6 is powered by Qualcomm’s top-notch Snapdragon 845 chipset which improves performance by 30 per cent while being 10 per cent more power efficient.

“The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with X20 LTE is designed with new architectures for AI, immersion, and blazing fast download speeds, allowing users to do even more with their mobile device”,” said Keith Kressin, Senior Vice President of Product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“It was purpose-built for premium user experiences like immersive gaming, cinema-grade video capture and long-lasting battery life,” Kresain added.

Coupled with Adreno 630 GPU, which is 30 per cent faster than the previous generation, the OnePlus 6 is a powerhouse for everything — from streaming HD video to playing graphically intense games.

With up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the device switches between multiple apps running at the same time without lag.

OnePlus 6 has dual-camera system with 16MP main camera, supported by a 20MP secondary camera.

With an f/1.7 aperture, the 16MP main camera features a19 percent larger sensor and OIS.

The device also marks the introduction of OnePlus’ “Slow-Motion” mode, which can capture high-definition video frame-by-frame with astonishing detail, ensuring users never miss the action.

The “OnePlus 6 x Marvel Avengers Limited Edition” device will be available with 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage for Rs 44,999 and will go on sale, starting May 29.

The limited-edition silk white device with 128GB of storage will be available for purchase on June 5 for Rs 39,999.

OnePlus 6 customers can avail cashback of Rs 2,000 while using SBI debit and credit card during the first week of launch, the company said.

The smartphone will be available for purchase on OnePlus.in, Amazon.in, OnePlus Experience store as well as all other OnePlus offline stores.

IANS

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Xiaomi tops smartphone market, Jio leads 4G handset segment in India: IDC

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New Delhi, May 14: While the smartphone market in India saw a healthy shipment of 30 million units in the first quarter of 2018, Xiaomi maintained its lead with 30.3 per cent market share, with Samsung at second place with 25.1 per cent share, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Monday.

The 4G feature phone market continued to grow at more than 50 per cent quarter-on-quarter, driven primarily by Reliance JioPhone which led the market with 38.4 per cent share.

The operator disrupted the market by introducing aggressively priced data plans at Rs 49 in the initial weeks of the quarter, acting as catalyst for growth.

According to the IDC’s “Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker”, the India smartphone market maintained a healthy year on year (yoy) growth of 11 per cent. However, the market remained almost flat compared to the previous fourth quarter of 2017.

Xiaomi increased its share of total online shipments from 32 per cent a year ago to 53 per cent in Q1.

“Xiaomi is in a unique position with a diversified channel approach and strong demand in each of the channels. Huawei’s Honor 9 Lite also made into the top 5 online models in its debut quarter 2018Q1,” said Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India.

Xiaomi maintained its lead in the market for second quarter in a row with further expansion in the offline channel and popularity of its models such as Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5.

Commenting on local manufacturing of smartphones, Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, said: “The recent import duty hike on PCBs, camera modules and connectors by the Indian government, definitely puts cost pressure on the smartphone companies, till such time that they set up lines for CKD (Complete Knock Down) type of manufacturing to reduce this impact.”

“This will increase the challenges for smaller companies even more,” she added.

Samsung remained at the second spot with flat annual growth in Q1.

“Samsung’s two-pronged approach with the focus on low-to-mid range J series and the latest flagships Galaxy S9 series along with Galaxy S8 series and Note 8 in the premium segment drove shipments for the vendor,” said the IDC.

OPPO climbed to third spot from fifth in the last quarter. Vivo slipped to fourth position as its shipments declined by 29.4 per cent year-over-year in Q1.

However, the brand grew by 2.1 per cent as compared to the previous quarter. The Y series of Vivo continued to generate close to 70 per cent demand.

China-based Transsion Group made its debut in the top 5 with more than threefold annual growth in shipments in Q1. The China-based group has four brands under its umbrella – itel, Tecno, Infinix and Spice.

“The government push for high-end electronics local manufacturing and accompanying duty hike puts most of the mobile phone vendors under further margin pressure. However, a vendor looking to establish itself for long term will have to show commitment by setting up the SMT units here,” Singh added.

IANS

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