'iPhone a threat to Nokia's dominance'
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'iPhone a threat to Nokia's dominance'

By SiliconIndia   |   Saturday, 28 June 2008, 05:02 Hrs
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New Delhi: The on coming launch of Apple's iPhone in the country may affect handset manufacturer Nokia's dominance in Indian Market. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, global president and CEO of the company, said, "When iPhone comes to India, it adds to our competitors here. The entry of a new product in the market creates customer interest and it, therefore, impacts us in India."

Nokia commands a 60 percent Indian market share in the handset space. The company has so far largely remained unchallenged in India as it continues to extend the lead over its rivals in the domestic market.

At the same time, Kallasvuo pointed out that consumer interest in iPhone would lead to an increased awareness on many of the concepts and features available on Nokia's handsets.

Bharti and Vodafone, two service providers, had earlier this month announced that they would soon be offering the new and cheaper version of iPhone to their customers by the year-end.

According to Kallasvuo, Nokia would continue to focus on its branding, distribution, logistics, services and support to fend off competition from iPhone. "In India we have to scale to manage all our operations in totality. This is an advantage we have over our competitors," he said, when asked on the company's strategy to counter the cheap handsets that are increasingly being offered by Chinese players in India.

Nokia also highlighted that it was working towards bringing internet features in its mid and low-end mobile phones to cater to the requirements of rural users in markets such as India. "We are actively working to bring internet services on the low-end handsets. The trials are specifically catered to the Indian market," Kallasvuo said. He also said that Nokia would soon launch its music stores in India during the second half of the year.

Nokia CEO said that while mobile was considered globally as the third screen (after the television and the internet), the scenario in India was different: "Here, the mobile has the possibility of becoming the first screen. India can lead the development of the mobiles becoming the key access point for the internet access," Kallasvuo said.

Reiterating its commitment to tapping the rural market here, Kallasvuo also outlined several unique initiatives for the non-urban markets in the areas of microfinance, distribution, agricultural services and after-sales and support services.

"India's consumption of mobility is growing at a phenomenal pace and it has the potential to make a major contribution to the country's socio-economic development. Nokia recognizes its responsibility and our aim will be to try and bring more consumers into the folds of mobility by maximizing value creation," he added.

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