With JioPhone taking the market by storm, HMD Global headed Nokia may also launch a Nokia 4G VoLTE feature phone soon. While Nokia was once a leader in feature phone sales here in India, launching 4G VoLTE capable feature phones could help bring the company back at the forefront in the massive Indian market.
Nokia recently launched the Nokia 3310 feature phone in India and was successful in selling nostalgia to us. More recently, the company then released the Nokia 3310 3G variant, but a 4G VoLTE feature phone makes more sense than a 3G variant in the Indian market. Ajey Mehta, India VP for HMD Global told Economic Times that Nokia may enter the 4G feature phone market in India soon.
Nokia 4G VoLTE feature phones coming soon
Ajey Mehta, India VP for HMD Global stated,
“JioPhone is definitely going to have impact on the segment, and there is no question about it. We are watching how this materialises. If we see a viable business proposition, we will definitely consider it and participate. If there is a business opportunity, for sure we are open to it…in that [feature phone] category, our brand is very strong”
After the success of Nokia 3310, the company may offer a more affordable feature phone in form of the Nokia 4G VoLTE feature phone. However, there are certain features missing on the Nokia 3310, for example, there is no front camera and the internal storage is just 16MB.
The 4G feature phone battle
Started by Mukesh Ambani headed Reliance Jio, the 4G enabled feature phone segment was first monetized by the Reliance JioPhone. Seeing the potential of the Indian feature phone users market, other companies also jumped in the race.
However, Lava was an older player as they had launched the Lava 4G Connect M1 as the world’s first 4G VoLTE feature phone. As of now, we have companies like Intex, Lava, and Nokia trying to monetize the market that Reliance JioPhone has highlighted.
Neeraj Sharma, Country Head Spreadtrum Communications said, “We are in talks with four-five players for launching phones (on Spreadtrum chipset). We expect they will be launching in the fourth quarter.” We can clearly expect these companies to be working on 4G VoLTE enabled feature phones.
While the world is moving towards smartphones, we think companies in India shall focus on making affordable smartphones rather than banking on feature phones. Of course, a 4G VoLTE feature phone is a good deal, but upgrading to the new trend of smartphones should be given more importance.