Nokia left one hell of a legacy in the phone business for its premium quality products. It is one mobile phone brand that resonates with Ugandans and chance are high that the person reading this has ever held a Nokia device or so or either saw their parents do. I sound nostalgic and you can read my tone is in past tense and yeah, Nokia is no longer the mighty goliath it was once as it quietly pulled out of the phone business after selling it off to Microsoft.
Microsoft tried its lack but Ugandans and other markets didn’t listen and gone is the Lumia brand that was first conceptualised by Nokia as its flagship Smartphone line. One company was able to scoop the remains of what was left of Nokia and has since revived the brand, playing on nostalgic tones to get the buzz in consumers ears and face.
This company is called HMD Global and recently it set up shop in Kenya after debuting the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 at MWC in Barcelona. These can easily be found in Kenya and they have slowly crept into Kampala shops as well though Nokia has been hellbent about making the announcement official.
One surprising move is that they are trading in the same shillings space as the “Nokia of Today” which Happens to be Tecno at least if it comes to brand recognition and presence. Tecno of today is what used to be Nokia of yesteryear, it is everywhere but with the giant back in town, may be we should expect some sort of disruption given their pricing model is somewhat similar.
The Nokia of yesterday sold premium devices at premium prices and became the definition of quality but one horrible mistake at group level led to its demise. You all remember Windows Phone, right? With lessons learnt and under new management, they have now come back equipped with what they missed in the first place – that being Android.
The Nokia 3, 5 and 6 all run pure Android away from the plagued misfortunes of Windows Phone and their forked Android tries before they sold over to Microsoft.
However, it won’t be a smooth sail winning over Ugandans even with the recent reincarnation of the Nokia 3310 that happens to sell alongside the 3,5 and 6. At the premium side we have Samsung and Apple while the crowded mid range market sees the likes of Tecno, Infinix, Fero battling it out and all sides have their feet dipped in the low-end segment as well.
Competition is so intense which brings us back to the above header if indeed, Ugandans will embrace Nokia once again. If it comes to pricing, Nokia seems to trade in the same territory as other brands mentioned above and the only differentiation could be the Name itself playing in a familiar Android territory that many Ugandan smartphone lovers have come to embrace.
The brand name could help it overcome becoming the next iDroid, Huawei,HTC among others that are slowly but gradually disappearing out of the Ugandan market.