2014 will be a seminal year for Nokia in both the consumer and b2b space, with the manufacturer continuing to build market share, increase partner support and raise brand awareness.
The bold prediction was made this week by Nokia UK and Ireland chief Conor Pierce (pictured). Speaking ahead of the launch of Nokia’s latest flagship smartphone, the Lumia 930, Pierce told Mobile: ‘This year is ours.’
He said the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia had boosted the manufacturer’s fortunes. ‘We can tell a much richer story of our eco system and when you see it come to life it is really spellbinding.’
He added: ‘We have been part of Microsoft for two months now and there’s definitely an air of positivity in my team - more importantly we are seeing that our partners recognise what Nokia and Microsoft combined bring to the market, giving them confidence in what we bring to the market.’
Pierce dismissed fears that the acquisition and uncertainty around the future of the Nokia Lumia brand will slow Nokia’s progress, pointing out that Microsoft had pledged ‘to put mobile at the heart of Microsoft.’
Pierce said Nokia’s sales in the UK continue to perform well, despite a global dip in Nokia device sales in Q1. ‘From our [UK] perspective we held our position well in Q1 and our share is more than what it was in Q1 of the previous year - and that is in a period when we did not release any new devices.’
Nokia Lumia’s growing market share is due to a number of factors, Pierce added. ‘Our portfolio is strong and wide particularly in the mid to low range. We have the growing support and credibility of our partners, consumers are familiar with the OS, we have in-store advocates and we have a much stronger app story than ever before.’
Pierce said Nokia is on a mission to ‘win the hearts and minds of all the channel.’ He added that Nokia’s field sales team, its academy field sales training team and its trained store advocates, known as Lumia Champions, are central to this strategy, which he said was proving successful, pointing to independent research showing a 25% rise in Nokia Lumia consumer brand awareness over the past year.
Turning to the b2b market, Pierce said the Lumia 930 - powered by Windows Phone 8.1 - will add momentum to Nokia’s drive to double its 18% share of the UK b2b market in 12 months.
He added: ‘Windows 8.1 is recognised in the b2b channel as enterprise ready - you can see that by our business wins. We have a very healthy pipeline - we are seen as the long term alternative to the incumbent.‘
He added: ‘With all these assets, and our partners and what we are about to launch in the next few weeks, I am confident we will gain a significant position in the consumer and enterprise space. This year is ours.’