India, one of the largest markets in the world for consumer goods thanks to an exploding middle class, loves mobile phones that can house two SIM cards. IDC says that 39% of all the mobile phones sold in India during Q2 2010 were dual SIM capable, up from 1% just one year ago. That leaves Nokia in a bind since local device manufactures are giving consumers what they want, while in the mean time Nokia is rapidly losing market share. The Finnish handset firm only has one dual SIM capable device on the market there right now, the C1-00. The more capable C2-00 is slated to come to India “soon”, but no exact date has been given. The main difference between the C1-00 and C2-00 is that the latter can have both SIM cards in use at once, while the former needs user intervention to switch between the two.
D. Shivakumar, Managing Director of Markets for Nokia India, says: “We will be present in all segments. However, we are not into the price game. Whether this trend is sustainable over the long-term remains to be seen – especially with operators coming under increased pressure from tariff arbitrage. With 3G services expected to become main stream over the years and mobile number portability on the anvil, things may change in the future.”
He’s kind of right. India is only now about to get 3G service and number portability. That’ll change the competitive landscape a bit, but will people stop buying devices from local handset makers that can deliver what they want while Nokia has to listen to shareholders and is forced to step back and avoid the blood bath of the competitors duking it out over price? I don’t really think so. The appeal of dual SIM is strong for people struggling to get by. Saving pennies is a necessity for them.