Unable to break loose Samsung and Apple dominance of smartphones world, the Tag Team Microkia is introducing a cheaper version of its Lumia phone L521 to undercut Google and Apple. This new phone is designed to target budget-minded wireless users rather than to satisfy their hungers for apps.
The mid-range Lumia 521 powered by Window 8OS has a 4 inch touch screen, 5 MPX PureView camera priced at $149.00 without multi-year contract, $30.00 per month with unlimited data and text messages being offered by T-Mobile, USA. The phones were quickly sold out after its launch on Home Shopping Network.
The largest U.S. retailer Wal-Mart is also beginning to sell the Nokia L521. The phone is priced at $129.99, $20.00 below Home Shopping Network offered price. It also comes with $30.00 unlimited data and texts offer by T-Mobile.
The latest media reports that the L521 model has received very favourable customers' response and also was quickly sold out within first hour of its launch on the Walmart website. This new L521 maybe key to Nokia's bid to dent Samsung and Apple's grip on smartphone market.
Nokia was the wireless king for the last consecutive 14 years until it was overthrown by Samsung in 2012. To reclaim its wireless kingdom, Nokia has launched low cost Asha line series in emerging markets. These early Asha's launch were quite successful which had given Nokia stock a nice lift. But unfortunately, the early success of Asha's launch was quickly shadowed by the intervention of Samsung's introduction of "REX" mid-range and low cost phones which to suppress the uprising of Nokia Asha line series phones. As a result, Nokia has suffered heavy casualties of losing 20% sales of its Asha and feature phones. In its conference call on 4/18/2013, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop hinted that the Asha's series phones need a refreshment.
Less than a month following the hint of CEO Stephen Elop, the Asha 105, Asha 201, Asha 501, along with Lumia 521 were born. The Asha phones have many features like smartphones, such as touch screen, direct link to Facebook, social media integration, limited apps support, built-in cameras and Wi-Fi capabilities. The phones also have superhydrophobic technology which is able to repel water in its new series of Lumia and Asha. By making these devices waterproof, wireless users will be able to use their phones in the rain as well as a prolonged phone life.
The new manufacturing plant which Nokia built in Vietnam last year is now shifting in 5th gear to ramp up production of low cost feature and low end smartphones which enable Nokia to flood the market in China, India and other Asian nations nearby, and to effectively counter-offensive Samsung's low-end mobile devices.
Nokia's CEO Elop previously said that " its our strategy to connect the next billion people to the internet via our mobile phone products " It's a reference to the billions of wireless users in emerging markets who do not have access to Wi-Fi. By adding Wi-Fi to its basic phones, Nokia's strategy is to attract budget-minded consumers in emerging markets until they are ready to upgrade to full feature smartphones.
As the head of Windows phone unit Terry Myerson recently said "There is an opportunity for us to offer a very high quality device in the mainstream. That's where we've made progress in the last couple of months, and it's a strategy we will continue to explore in the United States." What's good for Microsoft's Windows phone is also benefiting Nokia to lift sales of its high-end and low-end phones. Nokia is currently command 80% of all Windows phoneOS sales which easily surpass HTC and Samsung Window based phones.
Despite the dominance of Google's Android OS, whenever Google sells a phone, Microsoft's patent department opens the cash register to collect its royalty fee. So does Nokia busily ringing its cash register to collect its royalty fee everytime Apple and Blackberry sell a phone.
One of my friends who owns a donuts store in Arizona advised me not to continue to bet on dead horse of Nokia. I countered his bad remark about Nokia by telling him that Nokia is not a dead horse, but rather a marathon horse built to long run, and long march to victory in the smartphone world.
Disclosure: I am long NOK. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.