HMD Global is currently in the process of considering entering the 4G LTE feature phone market in India, as revealed by the company’s India Vice President Ajey Mehta. In a recent interview with The Economic Times, Mr. Mehta suggested that the local division of the Finnish consumer electronics maker isn’t keen on making any rash decisions and will instead watch how the market develops in the future. As JioPhone is presently committing significant resources to promoting this segment, the Nokia brand may join it in its endeavors should the feature phone market continue to grow in the South Asian country, or at least show enough potential, Mr. Mehta indicated.
HMD Global’s senior executive further explained that the tech giant still sees feature phones as an extremely important aspect of its business, especially in the context of India where such offerings remain relatively popular. While 4G deployment increased the demand for smartphones in the country in recent times, feature phones are still the number one choice of many local consumers and some manufacturers have already started equipping those devices with 4G modems. HMD is presently selling four feature phones in India, including the 3310 (2017), a modern revision of one of the brand’s most iconic models which recently also debuted in the form of a 3G-enabled device. In spite of its largely unsuccessful stint with Microsoft, the Nokia brand remains one of the strongest names in the industry and is still massive in India, with the latter point recently being reiterated by Mr. Mehta who said that the company is continuously looking for new opportunities in the feature phone segment.
While HMD Global would likely prefer selling Android-powered smart devices instead of feature phones seeing how the former usually guarantee significantly higher profit margins, the company still sees the latter as a viable opportunity for strengthening its overall brand, possibly with the goal of turning its long-term feature phone customers into first-time smartphone owners at some point in the future. India itself is currently the second largest smartphone market in the world and is hence extremely competitive, with its contemporary handset segment currently being led by Samsung and Xiaomi.