BARCELONA, Spain-With the Lumia 720 and 520, Nokia has a shot of getting back in the China game. The announcements at today’s Mobile World Congress press conference were about Nokia filling out its portfolio with a few more budget-friendly smartphones, as well as two basic cellphones it files under the category of “first phone.” But in doing so, the company has given itself additional ammunition to re-enter the Chinese market with a bit more swagger. As with many other parts of the world, the company has struggled to offset the declines in its traditional Symbian phone business with its new Lumia phones. In the fourth quarter, the company saw its revenue in Greater China plunge 79 percent to 213 million euros ($280.7 million). Unit sales fell to less than 5 million from 14.7 million. It’s even more important now that Nokia has a strong presence in China, as the country recently surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest smartphone market. Given the growth in demand in the region, Nokia would be wise to put more resources there. Nokia already cracked open the door to China with the Lumia 920T, a variant of the 920 customized specifically for China Mobile. China Mobile, which boasts the world’s largest customer base with more than 700 million subscribers, has also signed on to sell both the Lumia 720 and 520. Vesa Jutila, head of global marketing for the Lumia line, declined to say how well the Lumia 920T was performing on China Mobile, but he said it was a good sign that the carrier would re-up with two additional commitments. Nokia isn’t exactly making it a secret that the phones will go after China. Jutila noted that one of the key features in the “trendier” Lumia 720 is “Glam Me,” which allows users to edit and enhance a self-portrait – something Jutila said was popular with its target market in Asia. He said the Asia Pacific market would be the main one for the Lumia 720.

Because neither phone comes with LTE, they are better suited for China, which still is trying to get its 3G networks up and running. The prices, meanwhile, are attractive enough that they can lure in a wider group of consumers. Without a contract, the Lumia 720 will retail for 249 euros, while the Lumia 520 will sell for 139 euros. Jutila said the Lumia 520 could be particularly competitive because of its 4-inch display, noting that other similarly priced budget phones often feature a smaller display. He said that screen size was a big factor in the China market. While Nokia has won some critical praise for its Lumia phones, particularly the Lumia 920, the company is far from pulling off its turnaround. Questions remain about whether Nokia can get back to a solid position in the smartphone business, and whether Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system will finally resonate with consumers. At least in China, Nokia will have a better footing with its new Lumia phones.

FAQs:

  1. What are the key features of Nokia’s Lumia 720 and 520 smartphones?
    The Lumia 720 and 520 smartphones offer budget-friendly options with unique features like “Glam Me” for enhancing self-portraits.

  2. Why is China’s smartphone market crucial for Nokia’s comeback?
    China has become the world’s largest smartphone market, presenting a significant opportunity for Nokia to regain its foothold in the industry.

  3. How does Nokia plan to cater to the Chinese market with its Lumia phones?
    Nokia tailored the Lumia 920T for China Mobile and introduced the Lumia 720 and 520 to appeal to a wider consumer base in China.

  4. What pricing strategy did Nokia adopt for the Lumia 720 and 520 in China?
    Nokia priced the Lumia 720 at 249 euros and the Lumia 520 at 139 euros, making them attractive options for budget-conscious consumers in China.

  5. Why are the Lumia 720 and 520 without LTE connectivity?
    The absence of LTE connectivity in the phones makes them suitable for China, where 3G networks are still in the process of development.

  6. What sets the Lumia 520 apart from other budget phones in the China market?
    The Lumia 520’s 4-inch display and competitive pricing position it as a compelling choice for consumers in China.

  7. What challenges has Nokia faced in the smartphone market, especially in China?
    Nokia has struggled with declining sales of its traditional Symbian phones and the need to establish a stronger presence in the competitive smartphone market.

  8. How has Nokia’s partnership with China Mobile influenced its comeback strategy?
    Collaborating with China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier, to distribute Lumia phones demonstrates Nokia’s commitment to regaining market share in China.

  9. What can consumers expect from Nokia’s Lumia phones in terms of performance and user experience?
    Nokia’s Lumia phones have received critical acclaim for their performance, design, and innovative features, indicating a positive trajectory for the brand.

  10. Will Nokia’s focus on the Chinese market help it achieve a turnaround in the smartphone business?
    By targeting the lucrative Chinese market and offering tailored products, Nokia aims to strengthen its position and increase its market share in the competitive smartphone industry.

  11. How does Nokia plan to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and market trends in Asia?
    Nokia’s marketing strategies, such as introducing unique features like “Glam Me,” reflect the brand’s efforts to cater to Asian consumer preferences and stay relevant in the dynamic market.

  12. What role does Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system play in Nokia’s comeback strategy?
    The integration of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS in Nokia’s Lumia smartphones is a key factor in differentiating its products and attracting consumers seeking a seamless and intuitive mobile experience.

Summary:

Nokia’s introduction of the Lumia 720 and 520 smartphones marks a strategic move to re-establish its presence in the competitive Chinese market. With unique features catered to Asian consumers, competitive pricing, and a focus on expanding its product portfolio, Nokia aims to regain market share and drive growth in the evolving smartphone industry. By addressing consumer preferences, emphasizing innovation, and leveraging partnerships with key carriers like China Mobile, Nokia is positioned to make significant strides in its comeback journey. As the brand continues to evolve its offerings and adapt to market trends, consumers can anticipate a fresh lineup of Lumia phones that combine performance, design, and user-centric features. For those looking to experience Nokia’s latest innovations and explore the dynamic world of smartphones, the Lumia 720 and 520 present compelling options that showcase the brand’s commitment to delivering quality products tailored to diverse consumer needs. Explore Nokia’s Lumia series today and discover a new era of mobile technology that combines style, functionality, and value.