After launching its Android phones and the 3G variant of its iconic Nokia 3310, HMD Global owned Nokia is now looking to launch a 4G feature phone in India to compete against the JioPhone. The company is currently watching how the JioPhone performs in the market and may launch a feature phone if they see a good business opportunity.
To recall, the Nokia 3310 was launched in India with 2G support. Later, the company had launched a 3G variant of the 3310 in Australia. However, Nokia may not launch the 3G variant of the Nokia 3310 in India due to lack of interest in 3G devices in the country.
Ever since Reliance Jio announced the 4G VoLTE featuring JioPhone in India, there have been reports of various telecom operators and smartphone makers working on a 4G feature phone after noticing the huge demand for budget 4G devices. To recall, the JioPhone comes with 4G VoLTE support and has been priced at Rs. 1,500, which the company will return after a period of 3 years.
Reliance JioPhone had received over a million pre-orders in less than 48 hours and the company had to stop accepting more bookings. Considering the huge demand and the increasing 4G coverage in India, Nokia is now considering entering the 4G feature phone segment.
In an interview with ET, Ajay Mehta, Vice President for India, HMD Global said, “JioPhone is definitely going to have impact on the segment, and there is no question about it. We are watching how this materialises. If we see a viable business proposition, we will definitely consider it and participate.”
It will be interesting if Nokia decides to launch a 4G feature phone considering that before being sold to Microsoft, Nokia was one of the leading feature phone sellers in India. At the moment, telecom operators like Airtel and Idea, smartphone makers such as Intex and Lava are reported to be working on a 4G VoLTE enabled feature phone.
The present situation is very good for Nokia to re-enter the feature phone segment and after the huge success of the JioPhone, a 4G enabled device from Nokia may already in the works. Ajay Mehta further added that, “If there is a business opportunity, for sure we are open to it, our brand is very strong,”.