Nokia faces challenge in smart feature phone market


Samsung is taking on Nokia (NYSE: NOK) in the smart feature phone market with the launch of its REX line of mobile phones.

Nokia currently leads the smart feature phone market with its Asha line of products, but Samsung has decided to go after Nokia in this market after having seized the market lead in the smartphone market, noted Strategy Analytics.

"This is a shrewd, albeit inevitable move, by Samsung, which was never likely to give Nokia a clear run at the huge smart feature phone market," noted the research firm in a blog.

Smart feature phones have entry-level applications and Internet capabilities, but do not offer a branded mobile operating systems, the research firm explained. They are targeted at the first-time mobile Internet users, so getting a foothold there is important for any mobile phone manufacturer.

The Samsung REX series includes four touch-screen device models--REX 60, 70, 80 and 90. They run basic apps, offer web access through the Opera Mini browser, and have dual subscriber identity modules.

Samsung is marketing the REX primarily to emerging markets in Asia and Latin America because the smartphone penetration in developed markets has entered a mature phase, noted Strategy Analytics. The REX phones are expected to retail for between $80 and $120.

Meanwhile, Nokia is focusing its mobile phone efforts in marketing and plans to launch the Lumia Windows Phone 8 line at the Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona, Spain, at the end of the month. Nokia was rumored to be launching a Lumia tablet, but Strategy Analytics said the firm will not unveil the Nokia tablet at the conference based on "extensive channel checks".

Nokia will soon unveil new Lumia smartphones, including the Lumia 720 and 520, according to the My Nokia blog.

For more:
- see Strategy Analytics blog
- check out the Nokia Asha line of phones
- read My Nokia blog

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