Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

Summary: Smartphones seem to be all the rage today, but it turns out feature phones may still be more profitable than smartphones with over 70% of phones sold around the world being feature phones.

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I generally focus on the smartphone market here on ZDNet because that is what I use and what most readers seem to be interested in. However, the feature phone market is still relevant with staggering global figures that show over 70% of phones sold in 2011 were actually feature phones. Many, including myself, seemed to shrug off the Nokia World Asha Series 40 handset announcements, but according to this Forbes article feature phones are now more profitable than smartphones so it looks like Nokia's strategy of staying in the feature phone business may turn out to be a very smart move.

Many manufacturers that made feature phones in the past, including Motorola, Sony, HTC, and LG, have focused their efforts on the smartphone market. While Nokia is focusing on the smartphone market with Windows Phone, they are also very actively targeting the "next billion" with excellent devices like the Asha lineup that includes the Asha 303 and Asha 201. Nokia actually passed the 1.5 billion level this month and looks to rule this market in the future.

There is a report from Visiongain that discusses the low cost mobile phone market in detail.

Topics: Smartphones, Mobility, Nokia, Telcos

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11 comments
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  • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

    Smart move by Nokia. Keep the feature phone buyers familiar with the Nokia Brand. When they finally make the jump to smartphones, they'll want to stick with a brand they trust.I for one hope this strategy works well for Microsoft, and Nokia. I can honestly see WP 7 marketshare exploding in the next 12 to 18 months.
    Stephen-B
    • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

      @Stephen-B <br>Except that Nokia N9 (MeeGO) sells better than Lumia (windows7):<br><a href="http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/01/30/2158227/nokia-ceo-blames-salesmen-for-windows-phone-struggles" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/01/30/2158227/nokia-ceo-blames-salesmen-for-windows-phone-struggles</a>
      kirovs@...
      • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

        @kirovs@... the Lumia phones have just recently started selling. I could just as easily manipulate the data to make the iJunk phone look like it's not selling. How many phones did they sell the week before the 4 1/2 phone came out? now compare that to the total number of andriod phones sold in that month. Get my point?
        Stephen-B
      • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

        @Stephen-B...
        Bouncing off of your language, it's just as easy to make the 'WinCrap 7' phones like they barely moved any units.

        Which would be true, btw.
        Theseus
    • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

      @Stephen-B
      Why should current feature phone customers take a step backwards by buying WP7 devices?
      This sounds silly to me.
      Kadusch
      • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

        @Kadusch because it would put them 7 steps ahead of Andyriod phones, and 6 steps ahead if iJunk phone users.
        Stephen-B
  • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

    @Stephen-B

    The Lumia phones (and WP7 phones in general) are certainly selling, just not selling well. Sorry, no third ecosystem for you, Mr Elop!

    If I want a Nokia phone, I will buy an S40 Asha phone or a Symbian Belle phone.

    Microsoft fails to realize that since the burning platform memo incident, most die-hard Nokia loyalists have already defected. The 'strategic partnership' left a bitter taste in the mouth. The Nokia which they know and love was no more. A cold day in hell when they get a WP7 phone.
    Win8AnUglyDisaster
    • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

      @johndow1 I love my Nokia Lumia 710, it's easily the fastest, most stable phoe I've ever had the pleasure to own. I'm excitedly awaiting the Nokia Lumia 900's launch, as it promises to be an even better phone.
      Stephen-B
      • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

        @Stephen-B
        Yes, it is a great phone. But more and more customers are currently switching from phones to smartphones.
        Kadusch
      • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest moves

        Kadusch are you confused, or a troll? Nokia's Lumia phones are some of the best phones available. Even the lowest cost 710 runs circles around the competition. The closest iJunk phone cost over 6 times as much, and is still only 3G. The closest Andyroid phone, does not exist either. The Nokia Lumia 900 will rewrite what a smartphone should be. Powerful, fast and has a battery that truly lasts all day.
        Stephen-B
  • RE: Nokia's continued feature phone focus may be one of their smartest move

    Most people in the world are not rich and, therefore, cannot afford a $500-800 smartphone whether unlocked or buried in an expensive data plan.

    Samsung has also found the feature phone to be profitable with its Bada platform. It's 4th quarter profits were driven by high-end TVs, smartphones *and* feature phones. Competition in the feature phone market will spur innovation while keeping prices down. Good news in a bad economy.
    Rabid Howler Monkey