After ten years, why is Nokia’s best-selling feature phone?

An old friend Nokia recently made it to the e-commerce Double Eleven list, and the name of this list is "Elderly Phone". And among the top ten, Nokia’s "old man phones" occupies three seats, including Nokia 220, 105, and 125. Seeing these familiar naming methods, the mind unconsciously returned to Nokia's glorious era.

Non-intelligence is actually a selling point

Out of curiosity, I opened the Nokia 220, 105, and 125 pages on the e-commerce rankings one by one, and looked for their common ground.

The price of Nokia 220, 105, 125 is no more than 300 yuan, all of which are retro candybar style, polycarbonate body, physical nine-grid buttons, dual card dual standby, long standby, and built-in classic "Snake" and FM radio .

The slightly more expensive Nokia 220 is also equipped with a 300,000-pixel camera and supports 4G and VoLTE "high-definition calls". The other two both support 2G network standards. Under the premise that operators gradually shut down 2G networks, the life cycle of Nokia 220 will be longer, and recent sales will be slightly higher.

In terms of software, these three models are equipped with the very common Jiugongge operating system. If you only look at the interface, it looks like the former Symbian. Functionally, it is the same as the functional phone more than ten years ago, making calls, sending and receiving text messages, listening to the radio, and playing a snake, full of memories and feelings.

Is the so-called "old man machine" really for the elderly?

No matter which e-commerce website, this kind of "feature phone" is almost labeled as "old man phone" to facilitate user retrieval and big data recommendation.

However, on the product introduction pages of these feature phones, there is no slogan for the elderly phones. Instead, the focus is on "backup phones" and "student phones", with functions focused on long standby and keeping students focused.

From the hundreds of e-commerce evaluations of Nokia 220, 105, and 125, we can also see the purpose of those who are still buying "feature phones".

  • Buy to make calls and receive verification codes.
  • For your own children (high school students).
  • Buy it for parents who can't access the Internet.

In the evaluation, it is clearly mentioned that there are not as many for parents as imagined, but there are actually more used as backup devices and for children, which is in line with the manufacturer's propaganda.

▲"For phone calls" and "for students" often appear in evaluations.

On the one hand, the elderly now have a need for smart phones. They need to keep in touch with their children and friends, especially when the cost of video chat is much lower than that of the phone; they also need to participate in the online "carnival" on the Internet during the New Year’s holidays. Rather than being invisible "isolated" by device functions; they need smart phones to experience all-time family affection and humanistic care, rather than cold "small phones" that can only make calls.

On the other hand, most of the domestic mobile phone systems have built-in "simple mode", and the operation is more in line with the user's intuition, the graphical interface is also more friendly, and the barrier to use is reduced a lot.

When converting their demands to "feature phones", buyers' needs mostly revolve around "preparation phones" for making and receiving calls. For example, the external sound fonts are large, the price is cheap, and the standby time is long enough. In the case of similar prices, Nokia is mostly chosen because of the feelings of the "old brand".

The status quo of Nokia's smartphones: "Blue and yellow not picking up"

In JD Nokia’s self-operated flagship store, there is only one Nokia C3 on sale, and there are 18 models of non-smart phones (that is, feature phones), giving the illusion of dreaming back to 2007. And the "only remaining" Nokia C3 is just a triple-network 4G 100-yuan smartphone. The mid-to-high-end products that have been launched have been removed from the shelves.

▲ In Nokia JD’s self-operated flagship store, there are 18 models of feature phones on sale.

Faced with the new opportunities brought by 5G, Nokia, which is now owned by HMD, has not responded quickly. Currently only one Nokia 8.3 5G is planned to be launched, and this mobile phone has been bound to the new 007 series of movies "007: No Time to Die". Postponed with the movie.

▲ When Nokia 8.3 5G is launched, it is estimated that Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 will be sold in large quantities. Picture from: Nokia Hong Kong official website

However, affected by the epidemic, "007: No Time to Die", which was originally planned to be released this year, has been postponed to April 2, 2021. Nokia 8.3 5G equipped with Snapdragon 765G is likely to be launched at this node. For the mobile phone market, it is indeed too late.

There is no new 5G phone on the market. Nokia has only one 4G smart phone with a hundred yuan and a dozen feature phones. Facing the promotion season at the end of the year, it can only compete with Philips, Tianyu, and Shuobao on the list of feature phones. Helpless.

Feature machine market still has certain potential

After HMD took over the Nokia smartphone business, the first product to return to China was the mid-range model Nokia 6, priced at 1,500 yuan. It plans to compete head-on with the mass models of domestic manufacturers, hoping to become famous in the first battle.

▲ Nokia 6 equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor.

At that time, 1,500 yuan can be said to be the "golden gear" of domestic mobile phones. For the big shippers, whoever controls it will be the king. Redmi, Honor, Meizu Blue and 360 are in the thousands of yuan machine market. The whole line is full, and the processors are almost all Qualcomm U Snapdragon 625.

On the other hand, the newly "entered" Nokia 6 is equipped with Qualcomm's entry-level SoC Snapdragon 430. The pre-installed system is close to the original, and localization is relatively ordinary. Positioning has little to do with the so-called "cost-effectiveness" of Internet brands. Even though Nokia has been away for many years, HMD still hopes to use Nokia's "feelings" to give products a certain brand premium.

▲ Nokia X71 launched by HMD in April 2019.

The strategy of HMD's subsequent Nokia mobile phones is roughly the same, but the domestic market is no longer the same. The "feelings" blessing cannot be converted into sales. The Nokia smartphones that want to rely on the brand blessing perform tepidly.

In addition to smart phones, HMD has not given up on feature phones. Nokia re-enacted the classic 3310 and "banana machine" 8110 4G, which were highly praised in the industry and abroad, and triggered a wave of "nostalgia".

At the same time, from the 2018 Q3 data report given by Counterpoint, feature phones still account for 23% of the total global mobile phone shipments. One year later, this number will increase to 25%, and there may be 28 billion US dollars in the future. growth of. Nokia's feature phone is the leader in this market, and its shipments rank second, which strengthens HMD's determination to continue to ship feature phones.

In addition to the communication needs of developing countries in Asia and Africa, developed regions such as Europe and the United States also have a retro trend against smartphones. Compared with the weak growth of the smartphone market, it seems that there are still many growth points for feature phones, and HMD is not willing to take it lightly. Some reasons for abandoning the feature machine market.

In another ten years, I hope that Nokia’s hot selling is no longer feature phones

It is said that fashion is a circle, but is it possible that digital products are also a circle? No.

The so-called retro trend can only be regarded as a niche demand, just like the current "CCD" digital camera trend, many people just think of a "fresh and hot". In fact, digital products are more like the "wheels of history", rolling forward.

In some economically underdeveloped regions such as Asia and Africa, the network infrastructure is poor, electricity is not connected to the Internet, and smart phones are useless without 4G, and only feature phones are available. However, with the improvement of the network environment in some underdeveloped areas and the popularization of 4G and even 5G networks, it will be a matter of time for a large number of users to defect, and the market for feature phones will eventually be swallowed by smart phones, and feature phones will become subdivided. The product of the market (or a niche product that goes against the trend).

As Chinese manufacturers continue to go overseas, India, parts of Africa, the Middle East and other regions have become new "battlefields." Their development trajectory will undoubtedly be similar to the previous domestic market. Sooner or later, the market for feature phones will be replaced by smart phones. HMD (Nokia), which relies on the feature phone business, is not a good momentum and needs to redouble its efforts in the smart phone market.

The picture comes from: expertreviews

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