Nokia, the Finnish brand which was once the numero uno in the world of cell phones is venturing into an all new arena, or at least branching out to grant license to third-party retailers to use the iconic 'Nokia' brand name for an upcoming series of smart TVs that will soon be launching, to begin with India.
The Nokia name is still synonymous with phones and whenever one hears "Nokia", the first thing that crops up in the mind is perhaps a Nokia 1100 or some other classic Nokia phone from the years gone by. But soon, the Nokia name will also be associated with smart TVs, going by reports.
Nokia partners with Indian e-commerce Flipkart
According to Gadget360, the Espoo, Finland headquartered company has granted license to use the the Nokia brand name to Indian e-commerce retailer Flipkart for its smart TV lineup. A move which Walmart-owned Flipkart says is "a global first for the brand in the TV category."
Flipkart has already started promoting the launch of Nokia's upcoming 55-inch UHD 4K smart TV which is slated to go on sale on December 10 at 12PM IST. Nokia's partnership with Flipkart will help make its smart TVs more accessible and affordable to the average Indian consumer due to the e-commerce website's reach and understanding of the Indian consumer's needs and behaviour, according to Vipul Mehrotra, VP, Nokia brand partnerships.
Huge market for consumer electronics
The partnership could also help strengthen the Nokia brand name, which is not as glorious as it once used to be, in one of the biggest consumer electronics market in the world. India has a huge consumer base, owing to its 1 billion-plus population and the increased spending power of the average consumer and high technology adoption rates make it one of the most lucrative markets for brands. And Nokia's entry into the smart TV world will only help increase the brand's image and visibility with the Indian consumer.
As part of the strategic relationship with Nokia, Flipkart will be taking care of manufacturing, distributing and managing the end-to-end marketing strategy of the Nokia branded TVs in order to help create thousands of new jobs for Indians as part of the country's ambitious 'Make in India' initiative.
Nokia in footsteps of Motorola and OnePlus
Meanwhile, Nokia isn't the only phone manufacturer to lend its name to smart TVs as other manufacturers such as OnePlus and Motorola too have jumped on the smart TV bandwagon earlier this year. And Xiaomi, which has a host of ecosystem products under its brand has been a strong player in the smart TV market, especially in emerging markets such as India.
Speaking about the Nokia TV itself, the Nokia branded smart TVs will feature superior quality audio powered by JBL's sound program, which is an initiative by HARMAN to expand the uses of its audio expertise further. The partnership will also be JBL's first foray into the television space in India.
On the software front, the Flipkart promo banner says that the TV is powered by Android 9.0 with built-in Chromecast and advanced data-saving functionality. The 55-inch UHD 4K smart TV will retail for INR 41,999 (S$800 approx) and go on sale on December 10. We're not sure if Nokia has any plans of entering other markets at the moment.