Nokia has reacted defiantly to Vodafone’s assertion that it wants to make further inroads into the handset market.
Vodafone’s global director of terminals Jens Schulte-Bockum said that Vodafone branded handsets saved the operator between 20%-30%.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress Schulte-Bockum said: ‘Part of the appeal…is that we can take out some of the costs, notably of course marketing costs and to some extent R and D costs, but also some of the margin that our more traditional manufacturers demand.’
Yesterday Vodafone revealed two more own-brand low cost, simple to use handsets, the 227 and 228, with Vodafone claiming that one in six of the phones shipped by them are from its own brand range.
CCS insight analyst Shaun Collins described the latest releases as targeting the ‘ultra low segment of the prepay market’, an area that has been lucrative for Nokia.
Collins said: ‘We’ll see both of these products in Europe, but they are specifically aimed at the emerging markets, and Vodafone are expecting them both to do extremely well.’
Nokia’s own success has been boosted by the take-up of lower-priced handsets in emerging markets; seven of the top ten handsets traded on GSM Exchange are Nokias, and four of those are changing hands for less than £25 each.
Nokia UK boss Simon Ainslie said that although he would ‘relish’ any competition, he was not unduly concerned.
He said: ‘Many people have tried to get into that kind of space in the UK and there are many casualties down the line – it is not a simple job to move into that space. ‘Nokia has the most loved brand in the UK - globally the fourth biggest brand - and to try and achieve that level of passion and excitement about a product is not easy.’