Nokia – Will it explode or not?

Two months back, I accompanied my friend to help him in his mobile phone purchase. He was looking for a MP3 player cum camera mobile and enquired about the Nokia and Sony models with those features. Though the sales rep. in the shop repeatedly stressed that Sony Ericsson is better than Nokia for that features and price, my friend decides to go for the Nokia, saying it is more reliable than Sony.

More reliable? When I questioned his logic behind that, he didn’t have any answers. It was just a perception and nothing more than that. And it is this strong brand perception that helped Nokia to capture more than 70 percent of the mobile handset market in India.

Now after a week since Nokia issued the product advisory regarding the BL-5c battery replacement, it is this perception that gets hardly hit than the cost of replacing 46 million faulty batteries. Yes, they are ready to replace all the faulty batteries, but it took more than 100 complaints of over-heating and 20 months since the batteries were manufactured to start this replacement programme. It is this delay that will make people to be more skeptical about the brand in the future.

Faulty batteries are not new in the consumer electronics market. Last year Sony faced tough time, as millions of its laptop batteries were recalled by Apple, Dell and other major laptop manufacturers due to the possible risks of over heating. This incident greatly tarnished the electronic giants reputation and affected their business too.

As the handset market gets more competitive day by day, will this battery fiasco lead to a slump in Nokia’s market share or will this only be a temporary setback? Let’s wait and see.


  1. From my personal experience the Nokia phones do generally do much better in terms of battery life than Sony Erikkson. Although Sony Erikkson is considered more “hip” amongst the younger section of the people, with the N series Nokia phones, I think Nokia is sort of regaining its market share in that aspect too. These technical glitches, are part and parcel of the game, so unless this kind of problems arise too often, I dont think this one off instance will have too much impact.

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