Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Windows Phone prospects in the Philippines: Riding on the Nokia brand

Windows Phone got plenty of attention at 2012 consumer electronics show and the operating system itself has been favorably viewed by reviewers. Still, it has a insignificant share in the market and there are serious questions about its viability. So, does Windows Phone have a shot. If Windows Phone has a shot at getting a significant share of the market or even at becoming the dominant operating system, its chances are as good in the Philippines as anywhere else.

Nokia Lumia 710


Nokia. The Nokia brand is still a popular and trusted brand in the Philippines. Every month more and more Nokia users move to Android and Apple's iPhone, but there are still many Nokia users. Nokia's Symbian operating system is still the most common mobile operating system used to access the web by Philippine users. This is from data collected by StatCounter. It is a lot easier to convince a Nokia owner to buy a Nokia Windows Phone than, for example convincing US buyers to move to the Nokia Windows Phone, since Nokia has not has a siginificant presence in the US market for some time now. When Nokia's Windows Phone devices are released in the Philippines, buyers wont be buying it because it is a Windows Phone device, but because it is a Nokia.  

What OS did Philippine users use to access the web last month. Symbian - 47%. Android - 20%. iOS - 19%.

Facebook. There are 28 million Filipinos on Facebook. While it is true that many people have more than one account, even if you half that number, that would still mean that one on seven Filipinos are Facebook users. Nokia, in making a Philippine launch could highlight Windows Phone Facebook friendly nature. Facebook is integrated into Windows Phone People (Contacts) app, and Facebook Messenger is integrated in Windows Phone SMS app.

Navigation. Android and iPhone users have a decent navigation app via Google Maps, but it is not voice guided and requires and internet connection to use. Nokia's NDrive provides offline voice guided turn by turn Navigation, a feature many Philippine Nokia users are already familiar with. A Nokia user going to an Android or iPhone would get a downgrade as far as navigation is concerned. NDrive will sell a fair number of Nokia Windows Phone devices in the Philippines I think. 


Carrier support. In 2010 Smart Communications line-up was made up predominantly offering Nokia phones, but since than has pushed HTC Android phones and now also Samsung Android phones and Apple iPhones in its line-up.  While Smart Communications relations with Nokia still exist, as shown by the recent launch of the Nokia N9 as a Smart exclusive. Globe Telecom is more likely to focus on the iPhone and BlackBerry devices.

Postpaid pricing. Smart offers the Samsung Galaxy Nexus free at Data Plan 2000, and the iPhone 4S at just Php2,500 at the same price. This pretty much kills the Nokia N9 which is also offered free at Data Plan 2000. How cheap can a Nokia Lumia 710 or 800 be? A Nokia Lumia 800 will probably also be free at Data Plan 2000, which puts it head to head with the more powerful and more advance Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S.

Unit pricing. So far there are no Windows Phone devices that can compete with the low end Android in price. Phone like the Smart Netphone and Samsung Galaxy Y are not terribly impressive devices, but at Php6,000 and less, this is what the majority of smartphone buyers can afford.

It is getting late in the day.

One thing is clear. If Nokia wants to take advantage of its name, it best hurry. Android, iPhone and even BlackBerry are more prominent in people minds these days. The Nokia brand is quickly fading as what used to be the best brand. If Nokia want's to change this perception in the Philippines, they should bring in a Windows Phone device as soon as possible.


  1. Hi friends,

    Windows Phone supports twenty-five languages and windows Phone marketplace allows buying and selling applications in 35 countries and regions. It was developed quickly. One result was that windows mobile applications do not run on it. Thanks a lot......

  2. Consider Windows Phone 7 as a complete re-write. It has as mich relation to Windows Mobile as Android or iOS does. Microsoft apparently felt there was no way to upgrade the old OS.

  3. Considering Nokia's struggles over the past year, I would not be surprised if they they get bought out by Microsoft in the next few years.

  4. You are correct, that is distinct possibility. One company in financial trouble, the other in a fight for a market segment it cannot surrender.


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