According to Canalys by 2015 almost half of Chinese smartphones will be handsets under $200 (160€). At the moment even the local star Mi-One [a dual core 1.5GHz S3 Snapdragon based smartphone running a heavily customised version of Android's open source branch] misses that mark so how are the Western companies going to compete? It is pretty clear that at least Apple with its iPhone will never reach that price range, nor will it probably never even try to. But Apple is a luxury product and in China, besides cheap, luxury sells. Therefore if you’re a smartphone manufacturer dreaming of success in the Chinese market you pretty much have only two choices of how to go about it. You either aim for the sub $200 market or the luxury market. China is a typical example of two extremes. It’s either black or white, but very seldom grey.
Aho wonders where Windows Phone fits into this marketplace model, and thinks that the pointers are to the luxury end - but the Lumia 510 appears to be a device that is aiming for that lower price band for the Chinese market.
We shouldn't forget that Nokia had a significant presence in China with Symbian, and while some of that expertise will have been lost as the older mobile OS winds down, there will hopefully be a corporate memory in regards to one of the largest potential markets for new smartphone users.
Shenzhen district, by Sounding Blue (cc Flickr).
And for good measure, Aho has one more piece of advice for Nokia if they do go for a luxury Windows Phone...
One thing is for sure; Windows Phone 8 could not have a better name. Eight is considered auspicious in China, even so much so that the Beijing Olympics were rescheduled to commence at 8/8/08 at 8pm. (Nokia if you’re reading this; Lumia 888 might not be a bad idea)
You can read Aho's thoughts on his blog.