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New Nokia to struggle in China market

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-10 08:36

The new Nokia-branded smartphone may not be able to compete with Chinese local handset brands, as the country now represents the most competitive smartphone market in the globe, analysts said on Monday.

HMD Global, which owns rights to use Nokia's brand on mobile phones, recently announced its first smartphone Nokia 6 to target Chinese consumers. The device will be released exclusively in China through local internet retail giant in early 2017.

The launch marks the first handset under the Nokia brand since 2014, when Nokia sold its devices and services division to Microsoft Corp.

The new device will run on Google's Android system with a 5.5-inch screen, featuring 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Catering to the middle-end market, the handset is equipped with a Snapdragon 430 processor and priced at 1,699 yuan ($245).

"We intend to move with speed to establish a position as a player in the smartphone category," said Arto Nummela, chief executive officer of HMD Global.

"We look forward to unveiling further products in the first half of this year."

The Finland-based company, which has secured the license to produce Nokia branded mobile phones and tablets for the next decade, hopes to win back the lost glory of Nokia, which once dominated the mobile phone market but then failed to nail the smartphone market in the late 2000s.

However, Xiang Ligang, independent analyst and founder of telecom industry website, said it was really difficult for new devices rolling out sales in China. "In terms of producing middle-end cellphones, Nokia won't be able to beat domestic brands, such as Xiaomi, Huawei, vivo and Oppo," Xiang said.

Xiang said Nokia's brand was not as powerful as it used to be and the company was not competitive in terms of operating brand, distribution channels and marketing, compared with Chinese homegrown brands.

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