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Nokia May Need to Offer a Full Android Phone to Recover Market Share

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Nokia's best chance to make deeper inroads into the UK smartphone market is to offer full Android devices alongside their Windows models, YouGov data suggest.

The analysis follows Nokia's recent announcement of its "X" range of smartphones that use a variant of Android and are pitched at the low end market. Although the "X" phones will initially be sold in emerging markets, Nokia has indicated that they expect the devices to be released in Europe in due course.

YouGov's analysis of its smartphone tracking data shows that the manufacturer has stabilised its position in the UK over the last year-or-so. Although the company's installed base is small (currently 7% of the UK smartphone market), its customers hold Nokia's reliability and their previous experience of the brand higher than the industry average for smartphones.

However, the manufacturer's current "Windows-only" strategy also means the potential new audience for Nokia in the UK is limited. Just 6% of smartphone owners looking to upgrade actually expect to get a Nokia.

YouGov's data show that Windows OS users (52%) are less loyal towards their operating system than iOS (82%) and Android (65%) owners. One reason for this is that almost a third (32%) of Windows phone owners are frustrated by the devices' perceived lack of apps.

The OS issue is also highlighted when looking at what set-ups people switching from feature phones to smartphone plan to use. Nokia (29%) is just behind Samsung (30%) when it comes to which smartphones feature phone owners would consider upgrading to. Yet when it comes to Nokia feature phone owners looking to get smartphones, double the number would choose Android (22%) over Windows (11%) with only 8% favouring iOS.

However, the biggest group by far is don't know (58%), suggesting that offering multiple operating systems could place Nokia in a strong position to offer a range of options to consumers in this bracket.

Russell Feldman, Technology & Telecoms Director at YouGov, says: "In sticking to its "Windows-only" approach it is catering to a niche whereas offering full Android devices alongside its current models could return it to the mainstream once more. By offering a credible, mid-range, full Android handset as well as its current Windows devices, Nokia could start to take business away from its competitors."


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Tags: nokia  windows phone  UK