Mideast remains key focus for Nokia - Investments in core technologies to continue [Kuwait Times]
(Kuwait Times Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ABU DHABI: Nokia hopes to rebuild its business as a leading cell-phone brand in the Middle East with its game-changing handsets and adoption of Windows Phone software, said Vithesh Reddy, General Manager, Nokia Lower Gulf. In conversation with the Kuwait Times on the sidelines of Nokia World 2013, Abu Dhabi, Reddy said, "With our renewed marketing strategies and adoption of the Windows smartphone platform, we are now starting to rebuild the demand we used to enjoy in this region." Giving an overview of Nokia's new path-breaking devices, some of them specifically targeting the emerging markets, Reddy said, Middle East remained a key focus for Nokia's business strategy. "First and foremost, this is the first time that Nokia has hosted Nokia World in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, an indication as to what is happening in the region in terms of growth," he said. "The Middle East is very important to us where we have enjoyed a very good market share over the years. What's interesting about the Middle East is that it is a mix of culture and nationalities. So, right from the entry devices to the top-end gadgets we have had very good support in the region," he pointed out. "We are seeing a very good response to our Lumia devices. Starting from $150 and going all the way up to $600-700, the Lumia range is getting quite a bit of attention in the region," he remarked. "Today, consumers want bigger screens because they do a lot of browsing, use a lot of apps and do a lot of social networking," he said. The Nokia Lumia 1520, also a 6-inch device, is a high-end phone with applications such as StoryTeller, a 20.7 megapixel camera and a faster processer. Trend-setter Nokia also launched the Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch, Windows-based tablet. "The Lumia tablet is a complete game-changer with its Windows platform and the full Outlook Office capability. It has a USB on the go and has extra battery as well. This is something that you don't find in other tablets," he claimed. According to Reddy, the multi-screens are now coming to life and things like Outlook on the move, gaming and applications have become essential. "So, a person who is travelling from Kuwait to the UAE can take the Office with him and he does not have to carry his laptop and the charger with him anymore. You are really going to see Lumia and the power of Nokia with different products, screen sizes, price points and colors." Reddy, however, declined to disclose any specific market shares or numbers for the region. "I can tell you that our quarterly results will come out in the next few weeks which will give you a global view," he said. Talking about the Microsoft deal announced on September 3, 2013, he said, "Nothing much has changed ever since. I know that there is a key board meeting on October 26 and then the regulatory approvals of November," he said. Microsoft Corp struck a $7 billion deal on September 3, 2013 to acquire Nokia Corp's core cell-phone business in what was perceived by the industry analysts as a bold move to consolidate market in the fast-growing mobile business. "It is definitely the best choice that the board has made for us. I believe that Nokia, part of Microsoft, will really have the right impact because we are starting to see the momentum now," he pointed out. "Our goal is to grow and ensure that we can really deliver the right experiences and devices to our consumers. I think we can only grow from strength to strength. We are focused on our goals and we intend to achieve them based on our product line as well as being acquired by Microsoft," he concluded. Investment Timo Toikkanen, EVP Mobile Phones, Nokia, in conversation with Kuwait Times, said, Nokia is traditionally a market leader in the Middle East and Africa region. "The Middle East is a strong growth region for Nokia and we are very focused on it," Toikkanen said. Giving an overview of the investments being made by Nokia, he said, "We are continuing our long-term investment in core technologies. We have been in the mobile telephony industry for the last 25 years now. So, many of our core technologies have been constantly upgraded, be it radio technology or power management over the years," he said. Talking about the Asha Series, a low-end smartphone series from Nokia with intuitive user interface and unique technology, Toikkanen said, "Asha Series is many things with the user interface technology at its heart. The genesis of the user interface technology is the acquisition we made a few years ago in Scandinavia. It is not just a single shot investment, but an accumulated and continuous investment in order to bring out new innovations," he said. "We, at Nokia, are constantly studying and understanding consumer behavior and they don't seem to want complex applications on their phones. They don't want to be lost in a maze. They need to get their necessary applications at one swipe," he mentioned. "For instance, the user interface in Asha series – Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503 – is very special, both from outside and inside. You tap it twice and it wakes up. The camera opens up with one swipe and with one tap you can take a picture. You don't need to look for the viewfinder or the camera button to take a snap. And with a long press, you can share it on social networks. For social snappers, Asha series is probably the best," he added. By Sajeev K Peter All rights reserved.
(c) 2013 Kuwait Times Newspaper Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
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