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Who will be threatened by re-born Nokia?

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Mobile 17.03.2017 / 11:40

Nokia 6 2 col

Nokia 3, 5 and 6 could do well in Western Europe because loyalty to the brand was very high until early 2016.

During Mobile World Congress 2017, there was a large focus on Nokia’s retro-feature phone 3310. But in fact, the real strategic launch of HMD, now the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand, is the first three Android Nokia models: Nokia 3, 5 and 6. Kantar experts think it will pose threat to Huawei’s middle-range handsets.

“The Nokia 3 and 5, plus the expanded global release of the Nokia 6 – could do well in Western Europe since loyalty to the Nokia brand name there is historically high. As recent as the beginning of 2016, Nokia accounted for 6% of smartphones sold across the EU5, making it the fourth largest brand at the time,” said Lauren Guenveur, Global Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Europe's big five markets which are being monitored by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe, said: “HMD Global’s focus on revitalizing the Nokia name seems concentrated on quality for cost. Its three new Android phones are priced at €229 or less, with Android Nougat, Google Assistant, aluminium construction, and otherwise solid mid-range specs.

“While these models are not expected to rival Apple iPhone 7 or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8, they do compete with other mid-range devices like the Huawei P8 and P9 Lite,” he said. “Both of those Huawei models are strong sellers in price-conscious markets like Italy and Spain. This situation may present a new challenge for Huawei, as it pushes further into the premium end of the market with the debut of the P10.”

In urban China, in the three months ending January 2017, Android accounted for 83.2% of smartphones sold, an increase of 9.3 percentage points versus the same period a year ago. Huawei continues to account for over a quarter of smartphone sales in the region, at 26.6% for the period. Apple, whose iPhone 7 remains the top-selling smartphone in Urban China, and Xiaomi are the second and third largest manufacturers in Asia, with 16.6% and 14.5% shares, respectively. However, they continue to experience year-on-year declines as they face increased competition from Oppo and Vivo.

“Xiaomi skipped MWC this year since they had no new devices to launch,” said Tamsin Timpson, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. “Just as they did last year, Oppo made their presence felt at the show by debuting new hardware in the form of their 5x Dual Camera Zoom system rather than introducing a new device. Oppo, which sponsors Futbol Club Barcelona, have their sights set on growth beyond China.”

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech carries out monthly panel surveys among Chinese urban mobile phone users to monitor the market share changes of various brands. In China, the panel size is 22,000. Panellists were recruited from tier-1 to 5 cities and each year more than 260,000 surveys were conducted. The nature of the research methodology means it can cover the influence of smartphones sold in other countries ended up in China and avoid the confusion caused by unsold phones stocked at distributors’ warehouses.

In EU5, Android accounted for 74.3% of smartphone sales in the latest period, a marginal increase from 72.9% in the three months ending January 2016. iOS held a 22.7% share, with iPhone 7 remaining the top-selling device in Great Britain, France, and Germany.

In the same period, Android accounted for 56.4% of smartphone sales in the US, down 1.8 percentage points from the period a year earlier. iOS accounted for 42% of smartphone sales, up 2.9 percentage points year-on-year.

Gone are the days when a BlackBerry OS, Symbian, or Windows Mobile could make a significant impact. It is clear that there will only be two smartphone ecosystems moving forward – iOS and Android. To succeed, phone manufacturers will have to play by those rulebooks.

“February’s Mobile World Congress 2017 demonstrated the true state of the market, with re-emerging Nokia and Blackberry capturing a lot of attention, but now operating on Android rather than on their own legacy operating systems,” said Lauren.

 

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

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