July 02--Nokia, now fully owned by Microsoft, is resuming strong marketing spending in Thailand in a drive to revive flagging brand awareness amid heavy competition.
"Thailand is one of 14 global strategic countries for our smartphone market, thanks to the success of our Lumia family of smartphones," said Yantana Simvanichkul, managing director for mobile device sales of Nokia (Thailand), a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobile Oy.
Nokia is now focusing on promoting the Lumia family using Windows and Android operating systems.
Mr Yantana said Lumia, priced over 4,900 baht, is targeted at professional users.
He said the smartphone segment priced 7,000-13,000 baht is still growing at a fast pace this year. Nokia plans to introduce more models for this segment this year.
Nokia yesterday launched its flagship high-end handset model, the Lumia 930, aiming to compete with Samsung's Galaxy 5 and the upcoming iPhone 6. The 4G handset features a 6-inch display and a 20-megapixel camera.
Mr Yantana said Nokia expects its Windows-based smartphone to account for a 10% share of the local smartphone market, far behind the 60% of Android-based phones and 20% of Apple's iOS.
Nontawan Sindhavananda, marketing head of Nokia (Thailand), added that being taken over by Microsoft means Nokia has stronger financial capacity to spend on marketing activities and build brand awareness.
"We expect consumer sentiment to recover in the third quarter. Competition in the smartphone market also looks set to intensify," she said.
GfK Retail and Technology (Thailand) forecasts the local smartphone market to grow by 10% to nearly 14 million units this year.
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