HMD Global’s Vice President India, Ajey Mehta, at the sidelines of MWC in Barcelona to talk about the new phones and everything else around them.
“We are looking to launch [the Android phones] starting from end-May to early-June,” says Mehta, though the new 3310 could here sooner. “The 3310 we’re still finalising the dates, we’d like to launch before the smartphones but it’s not yet confirmed,” he adds.
Earlier reports had indicated that the company will be following a Make in India strategy for the new Nokia phones, but Mehta tells Gadgets 360 that’s not quite finalised yet.
“The plan is to have all the phones manufactured in India and we are working with Foxconn to make that happen,” says Mehta. “If they are not able to ramp up it could be from Vietnam or China, but ideally it would be made in India.”
Once the phones are ready, Nokia plans to sell them both online and offline, Mehta says. However, he adds that some of the smartphones will be available exclusively online, and some will be sold only offline.
“We will pick the channel that reaches the consumer, and that is the millennial,” he says. “So we will have a channel agnostic strategy, we will go online, we will go offline, as far as possible, we will ensure that the products are mutually exclusive.”
In other words, if the Nokia 3310 is being sold via online channels – and this is just a hypothetical example at this stage – it won’t be available offline. Similarly, phones that are available via retail won’t be sold via the e-commerce portals, at least officially. The strategy of course is designed to protect the interest of all channels and not have cases where one is undercutting the other’s business.
“It’ll be on a product-by-product basis,” explains Mehta, instead of the entire line of smartphones or feature phones being limited to a channel. With demand for Nokia phones expected to be high, no decision has been made yet if the online platforms will follow the flash sale model, Mehta added. But to better prepared for the demand, the company is carrying out market research right now.
For an extended version of this interview, check out the video.