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Nokia phone may struggle in China

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-15 16:31

New Nokia-branded smartphones may not be able to compete with domestic Chinese handset brands, as the country now has the most competitive smartphone market in the globe, analysts say.

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

The launch marks the first handset produced under the Nokia brand since 2014, when the company sold its devices and services division to Microsoft Corp. The new device will run on Google's Android system with a 13.97-centimeter screen, and featuring 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Catering to the middle of the market, the handset is equipped with a Snapdragon 430 processor and is priced at 1,699 yuan ($245; 232 euros; 201).

"We intend to move with speed to establish a position as a player in the smartphone category," says 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 secured a 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 mobile phone sales but then failed to nail the smartphone market in the late 2000s.

However, Xiang Ligang, independent analyst and founder of telecom industry website, says it is difficult for new devices to rolling out in China.

"In terms of producing midrange cellphones, Nokia won't be able to beat domestic brands such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo," Xiang says.

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


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