Feeds

China, India the key to Micr-okia's fate says IDC

Low-budget Lumia, Asha overhaul needed but lack of apps still a problem

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The mega-markets of China and India, and more broadly the rest of the Asia Pacific region, will be key to Microsoft’s success in the handset space with its newly acquired Nokia assets, according to analyst IDC.

China is the number one market for Lumia shipments, with India in second, Vietnam in eighth and Thailand tenth globally, IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau told The Register.

“Asia Pacific stands out as a key market Microsoft will have to approach,” she added.

“Nokia’s strategy has always been on emerging markets but this is where it gets dicey – we don’t know how the management will change. The concern in the past is that Microsoft has been very US-focused.”

That said, even with Nokia on board, Microsoft will face significant challenges. In India, where Nokia has a strong brand thanks to its feature phone business, its stature with operators has been severely diminished over the past few years “because its ability to push out handsets has decreased”, Chau argued.

She added that Microsoft’s biggest problem, the lack of an app ecosystem to match iOS and Android, will not be solved by the acquisition and at best will only help Redmond consolidate its position against Blackberry as the third placed mobile ecosystem.

The Nokia buy will certainly not be enough to attract more developers or OEM handset makers on board, in fact, it may be enough to persuade Samsung, HTC, ZTE and Huawei to drop their half-hearted Windows Phone efforts altogether, she argued.

Another important success factor in the region will be Micr-okia's efforts to produce a low cost smartphone that average citizens in the region can afford. Last year, for example, analyst Canalys predicted that nearly half of China’s smartphone market will comprise handsets under $200 (£127) by 2015.

Microsoft could do two things to bring the cost of a new Lumia handset down, according to Chau.

Firstly it could scrap the licensing fee, which at present is built into the cost of the phone, knocking around $10 off per handset.

“Secondly it could work more closely on tweaking the OS to run on certain hardware specs more suited to a lower price point. In that way the price could come down,” she said.

Another strategy would be to make Nokia’s Asha handsets more attractive to buyers in markets like China and India by pre-loading them with "first party" apps such as mapping, with the intention of up-selling these punters in the future onto low-cost Lumia phones.

“The one complication is that the Nokia brand won't be on Lumia (only on Asha), but in theory, if Microsoft could help put a couple first-party 'Microsoft-specific' apps on Asha, it could help to maintain that bridge for users to eventually migrate to Lumia,” Chau explained. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.