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Ad:Tech Bangalore: Nokia’s D Shivakumar On Smartphones, Mobile Data, Services

Speaking at Ad:Tech Bangalore, D Shivakumar, Senior Vice President (India, Middle East, Asia), Nokia talked about smartphones and the emerging opportunities for app developers. Here are some notes from the keynote:

– Shivakumar said there are 5 billion mobile phones in the world and that mobile phones are one of the most penetrated medium with a penetration rate of 71%, followed only by Television which stands at a distant second with a penetration rate of 28%. Of the 5 billion mobile phones, smartphones account for 1 billion mobile phones and feature phones account for 4 billion mobile phones. However, there is no word on the data source for this information.

– Mobile Data and Mobile Ads Market: Shivakumar said that the mobile data traffic stood at 1.2 exabytes per month globally, up from 0.6 exabytes per month in 2011. He stated that India currently has the third largest mobile Internet base at 120 million consumers and as the voice becomes more commoditized, operators will drive more data-based services, especially video-oriented services.

Shivakumar also added that the Indian mobile advertising market is valued at Rs 180 crore and the global mobile ad market currently stands $11.6 billion, a 85% increase from $6.3 billion in 2011. Also, he stated that mobile coupons have performed and have received 10 times higher redemption rates than print coupons globally. Going forward, Shivkumar stated that location based services, mobile apps and video will be the future drivers of mobile ads in the country.

– Price Comparison Engines: Shivakumar said that the people in India have now evolved from being only price-sensitive to being value and time sensitive. He stated that one of the biggest benefits of the mobile Internet is the emergence of online price comparison engines, however he noted that these engines have significantly reduced the profitability of physical retailers.

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Defining Smartphones: Shivakumar said that smartphones cannot no longer be defined by the tech specifications but it should be defined by the consumer. Quoting an example, he said that if users are able to make payments through NFC via a $20 mobile phone, then it can be termed as a smartphone. He also claimed that people can today do almost everything from a $50 mobile phone what they can do from a $300 smartphone.

He also pointed out that touch screen phones are now becoming a predominant form factor in the Indian handset market, with the screen sizes of mobile phones becoming bigger over the past few years. He stated a basic mobile phone now has 3″ display, which was being considered premium few years ago.

– Shivakumar stated that with improving mobile data speeds, one could also expect more use cases to emerge to drive online video usage, besides the known use cases like video consumption and video calling. For instance, women can probably use video to stream the objects available at any shop and discuss it with their friends before making a purchase.

– Maps: Speaking of Maps, Shivakumar claimed that India is the largest navigation market in the world and reiterated the company’s position to be the top player for maps globally, although he pointed out that it is quite tough to offer a maps solution to consumers, since many people in India prefer asking directions from local people who are physically present at that location and know the location better, rather than looking at digital maps. However, the company has observed that maps are slowly evolving in a different direction, where young individuals usually browse through the maps for discovering local point of interests around a location.

– Nokia Money: Shivakumar said that Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and NREGA will be the biggest driver for m-commerce in the country, since the Government will be the ultimate credibility source for m-commerce, rather than any private company. He claimed that Nokia Money was seven times bigger than its nearest competitor, however they realized that the service was slowly turning out to be a telecom model, where they needed a large user base of around 100 million user base to make money, which was quite far off. Hence Nokia recently exited from the segment, selling off Nokia Money to the Blackstone backed mobile financial services firm FINO.

– Music: Shivakumar claimed that Nokia Music Store currently has 41 lakh songs in its catalog and is one of the largest music providers in the country. He also claimed that the company has digitized 70% of the songs released in the past 100 years till now.

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Also read:

– Ad:Tech Bangalore: Sandeep Amar & Aakrit Vaish On Mobile App Monetization
Ad:Tech Bangalore: James Miner on ESPN Star Sports’s Digital Strategy

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