Restrengthening Brand Nokia

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Nokia, the

handset market leader, has once again stood by its reputation. The Finnish giant

has recalled certain Nokia branded chargers, manufactured by a third-party

supplier. In India, this charger exchange program is limited to charger model

AC-3E only, manufactured between June 15 to August 9, 2009, for a Nokia mobile

phone-Nokia 7210. However, globally the exchange program includes AC-3U, AC-3E,

AC-4U series.


In an issued statement the company said,

"During a routine quality control process, Nokia identified a potential product

quality issue with certain chargers manufactured by one of its third-party

suppliers. The plastic covers of these chargers could come loose or

separate-exposing the charger's internal components and potentially posing an

electric shock hazard, if certain internal components are touched while the

charger is plugged into a live socket."

While Nokia did not divulge the number of

customers affected, reports have estimated the recall applies to 14 mn chargers

worldwide. The numbers of people affected in India would be small.

Nokia, as per VOICE&DATA estimates, had a

market share of 64% by the end of FY 2008-09. Nokia, is still the market leader

in the country, but its growth rate is falling down. The company had registered

a growth of 10% in the last financial year. Its closest competitor, Samsung grew

by 72%, with an innovative and attractive product line.


This product recall will strengthen

Nokia's brand image in the country. Whether this exercise will be able to

catalyse sales figure-which is heading south, for the handset manufacture-can

only be told in the coming times.

"It will obviously strengthen the

company's brand image among users. It will boost its reputation and customers'

confidence too. But, I doubt how much of it would convert into sales, as buyers

consider various factors while buying, brand value is only one of them," says

analysts associated with a leading research firm, pleading anonymity.


These chargers were manufactured this year

by the battery making arm of Shenzhen based BYD. The company is owned by Wang

Chuanfu, the second richest man in China. Moreover, the US millionaire, Waren

Buffett's MidAmerican Energy owns a 9.9% stake in BYD, which stands for 'Build

Your Dreams'.

It is worth mentioning that BYD also makes

chargers for Motorola. The company will cover the costs of the recall.


Interestingly, BYD's success is largely

driven by automobiles-not rechargeable battery or mobile phone component sales.

Revenues from cars account for 55% of BYD's sales.

Nokia's last recall was in 2007, when it

found 40 mn lithium-ion batteries produced by Japanese manufacturer, Matsushita

Battery Industrial that posed a risk of overheating. During charging, a short

circuit can occur which may pose an overheating risk. So far, about 100 separate

incidents have been reported. Although there were no serious injuries or

property damage being reported. At that time (FY 2007-08) Nokia had a market

share of 62.5% with a growth of 30%.

Akhilesh Shukla