As Long As Feature Phones Exist, "Google With Text Messages" Will Still Be Needed

As Long As Feature Phones Exist, "Google With Text Messages" Will Still Be Needed

By Barbara Bryant, social media manager

The recent sale of Nokia brand by Microsoft to HMD Global and FIH assures the continued sale of feature phones internationally.

“There is still a consumer segment who will never touch a smart phone, and there is a segment that wants a secondary phone which lasts for a month and has a one-day talk time,” HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela reported to The Penninsula, Qatar’s daily newspaper. “It will shrink, but it will not disappear overnight, and we will renew our offering also in feature phones, so that we can sustain that funding for our operations in smart phones.”

Feature phones are still widely used in the emerging markets, according to Stefan Kuegler, Director of Mobile Research at Lightspeed. He notes that India and Brazil both have low smart phone penetration rates of 20% and 27%, respectively. Kuegler concludes that with such low smart phone penetration rates, it is clear that feature phones still dominate these key markets.

Nokia veteran Nummela, who most recently was Microsoft’s head of mobile device sales in Asia, Middle East and Africa, said “The Nokia [feature phone] is known for simplicity, ease of use, reliability and quality.” 

While HMD Global controls sales, marketing and distribution of the Nokia brand, the manufacturing operations were sold by Microsoft to FIH, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Co. The two companies will collaborate on feature phones. 

Foxconn, located in China, is a multinational electronics contract manufacturing company partnering with Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Samsung as reported by the New York Times today.