Chiangrai Times – Nokia will start commercial sales of its Windows Phone in Thailand this year in a bid by the Finnish firm to revive its past success in the crowded local smartphone market.
The announcement came just a month before Apple is scheduled to reveal its much-awaited iPhone5.
“We plan to become the leader in the smartphone market in Thailand in the near future, helped by our new flagship Windows Phone,” said Grant McBeath, managing director of Nokia Thailand and emerging Asia.
But he acknowledged achieving that goal will be an uphill task.
Nokia plans to unveil its Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 in the Thai market in the fourth quarter.
The phone runs on the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.
Mr McBeath said Nokia expects to gain a bigger slice of the smartphone market and could inch up its market share from a single digit to exceed a 10% share by next March.
Nokia ranks third in the local smartphone market, behind Apple and Samsung.
The fourth quarter will see the toughest competition in the high-end smartphone market thanks to the arrival of the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy Note II hybrid and Samsung’s first Windows Phone.
Mr McBeath said Nokia will slate its biggest marketing budget to promote the flagship Lumia to its increase mass-market reach.
The spending will cover TV commercials and the opening of about 1,000 demonstration outlets nationwide to enhance the product experience.
The company will discuss the use of their billing systems with mobile operators to collect pay Windows apps to enable users to make a purchase more conveniently.
Among notable features on the new phone is a camera lens that provides sharper images in low light or five-times higher picture resolution.
Mr McBeath said growth in the local mobile market this year will surpass initial projections by 30% thanks to the proliferation of smartphones.
Sales of smartphones will account for 75% of the market’s total value.
The research firm International Data Corporation (Thailand) forecasts Android-based smartphones will top 3 million units this year.