Notes From Nokia India’s Lumia Launch: Mid December Availability, New Retail Experience To Boot

Nokia India yesterday held the official India launch event for its Lumia branded Windows Phones, outlining the strategy and philosophy with which the devices will go on sale. Both the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 are expected to be available mid December in India, making it one of the first few countries in the world to get the latest and greatest from Nokia.

There was no official word on pricing in India but it expected to follow global cues, the Lumia 800 is priced at 420 Euros before taxes, while the Lumia 710 is priced at 270 Euros. Correspondingly, I expect the Lumia 800 to launch around the 30,000 INR mark, while the Lumia 710 will retail at around 19,000 INR. The reason for the lack of an official price was pegged on the prevailing fluctuations in the global currencies, we can expect a official quote when pre-orders go live in early December.

We have extensively covered the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 before, so this post is focussed on the maketing strategy that Nokia India will adopt to market these devices. The first step in this direction will be an all new retail experience, with 5000 top Nokia retail outlets getting a makeover.  This includes 2D and 3D branding and a flood of live demo units in the new Nokia arc, the number of live units so placed will be the largest ever for Nokia. The idea behind all of this is to bring the Nokia retail experience in India to a premium level, something which according to Nokia India MD D. Shivakumar has been missing so far. Infact, to ensure that the consumers experience the Lumia devices in the best possible way, sales will be limited to only those Nokia stores that will have received a facelift, so not every store across the street from you will be selling these devices.

Next a significant focus will be also be to train employees across these stores so that they can help the consumer with everything from questions before purchase to setting up devices after sale. So much so, that on the day the Lumia devices first go on sale across the country, each and every Nokia employee will be at one of these Nokia stores showing off the latest devices. Additionally, Nokia India will also be leveraging its Nokia Care centers to get the word out, all of which will feature what Nokia likes to call the ‘Lumia Experience’.

Finally, a few notes on the devices and services. Needless to say they will ship with Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive for free navigation across the India and the world. The India centric coverage has really improved in the last few months and a lot of cities also support 3D landmarks. Second, Mix Radio, Nokia’s genre based streaming service will also be available in India. Next, unlimited music downloads (similar to Comes With Music/ Ovi Music unlimited) are also coming to Lumia devices next year, and there is reason to hope that Nokia will try and go down the DRM free path this time, just like it distributes music in China.

Finally, here is a short video showcasing Nokia’s retail strategy and how it plans to attract consumers to its stores.