Saturday, 5 November 2011

The India Question: Still Not a Lot of Answers in the Smart Phone Space

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India is the kind of place where Nokia and Microsoft are looking to start a fight back in the global smart phone market. Nokia still has a commanding share of the market, but that share is trending down. These two links are dated 3 years apart: http://bit.ly/ve1Yap (June 2008) and http://bit.ly/tD54c5 (June 2011). During that time, Nokia's market share in India has fallen from 59 to 39 percent. Samsung has grown from 7 to 17 percent.

What is really interesting is that Nokia are getting pressure on both ends: as players like Samsung and HTC come in, Nokia have to fight on the high end, while at the low end, local players are grabbing share. Viewed this way, MS have hitched their wagon to a falling star. But does that matter?

Both Samsung and HTC will offer Windows phones alongside Android ones. They are happy with whoever gives them a good deal and helps them sell their phones. If Nokia gives Microsoft a jump in India and then HTC and Samsung put them in as well, they have the biggest player, and the rising stars.

Likewise Nokia could benefit. If they get a good share of the Indian smartphone market with Windows, there is nothing to stop them later on from offering Android as well. They want to sell phones, not OS'. Microsoft must surely have considered this and one possible outcome of such a consideration is that they could acquire Nokia the same way that Google acquired Motorola.

If that happens, and suddenly you have the three biggest mobile OS players each owning their own manufacturing company, then what? What happens to HTC and Samsung?

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