February 07, 2013 00:00 By ASINA PORNWASIN
Nokia aims to become No 1 in Thailand's smart-phone market by differentiating its products from rivals.
Nokia Corp chief executive officer Stephen Elop said the key strategy was to offer differentiation for customers in both technologies and design. And Thailand is among |the top Asian markets for Nokia to focus on.
Thailand is in a transition period as wireless networks move from second- to third-generation technology, which will open up huge opportunities for Nokia in both the network and smart-phone businesses, he said.
“Thailand is my first visit as the company’s CEO, since Thailand is one of the top markets that we focus on. On this trip, I met Thai operators and retailers. We are committed to providing support for the local teams to help them to make Nokia a success.”
He believes that Nokia has the capability to become the market leader in the smart-phone segment in Thailand. The key element of such success would be its latest smart phone, Nokia Lumia, which recently launched in Thailand. The Lumia 920, 820 and 620 are the flagship products for Nokia in the smart-phone market not only in Thailand but around the world.
Elop said the Win-dows Phone platform was the company’s primary focus.
“We are the leading manufacturer in Win-dows Phone’s eco-system and have been working closely with Microsoft.”
He said smart phones were one of Nokia’s five key business components. The others are the Nokia-Siemens Network, patent business, lower-cost mobile phones, and navigation systems under the Here brand.
“All of them are important business components for Nokia that will help it be successful in the long term in every market including Thailand.”
Nokia plans to continue focusing on both the high-end and low-end markets. Lumia is the flagship in the premium market, while Asha is |the key product in the lower-priced market.
“We offer products at all price points. The lower-price smart-phone [segment] will be led by Asha. We sold 16 million Nokia Asha units in six months last year worldwide,” Elop said.
He said Nokia was hoping to help operators in Thailand make a successful transition to 3G technology.
“This morning I met with operators to show how we can help them move forward,” Elop said yesterday.
Elop also planned to meet with application developers while in Thailand.
“From only 6,000 apps two years ago, now there are around 120,000 apps in the Windows Store,” he said.
Another business opportunity in Thailand for Nokia is its Here map platform because this country is a large automobile-manufacturing base.
“Four out of five automobiles with embedded navigation systems use Nokia’s Here system,” he said.
However, he declined to commit on whether Nokia would introduce a tablet device. He just said the company was interested in the idea.