What will it possibly take to turn Nokia Corp’s business around? After a series of misses in terms of launching handsets that will make a great impression in the market, the Finnish smartphone manufacturer now seems to target the low-cost market.
According to well-placed sources, the company is set to launch a low-cost handset at the Mobile World Congress to be held in Barcelona, Spain later in the month. Such sources disclosed only a few details about the new smartphone and no price estimate is out yet, but for sure, it would be much cheaper than the recent models released by the brand.
What is more interesting based on the report is that the new Nokia handset to be unveiled soon will be operating on Google Inc’s free software Android operating system. Some analysts find this quite odd since it is now a common knowledge in the industry that Nokia has a very close partnership these days with Microsoft Corp, which is currently in the final stages of acquiring its handset business.
Choosing Android over Windows Phone
Microsoft has its own mobile operating system, Windows Phone, which has already been used in several of Nokia’s new smartphone models. However, some observers think that the move is a logical one since Android is a free operating system and using it may help ensure that the handset could take a cheaper price tag when released in the market.
However, it is not clear what version of Android will be used in the soon-to-be-launched low-cost Nokia smartphone. But some observers are almost sure that it will not be the latest version, Android 4.4 or KitKat.
Additional reports point out that the new Nokia handset would be aimed at emerging markets, hence its pricing scheme. It will also not feature most of the higher-end and customizable Android features.
Long way to go
For quite some time now, Microsoft and Nokia have been struggling to make a significant impression in the current smartphone market. This is not surprising because the landscape is still focused on two major players, Apple Inc through its iPhones and Samsung Electronics through its Galaxy devices. Even the combination of Microsoft and Nokia has not been adequate to even match sales of any of the two leaders.
According to data by Strategy Analytics, up to 79% of smartphones that were shipped globally in 2013 were on Android. Only 15% were on iOS and just 4% operated on Windows Phone.