Nokia’s second coming?
by Andrew Farmer in Consumer and Technology & Telecoms
Mon February 18, 2:10 p.m. GMT
New research from YouGov shows Nokia has made great strides in restoring its reputation among its consumers.
YouGov’s Smartphone Mobile Internet eXperiences tracker (SMIX) shows that the Finnish brand substantially improved its levels of customer advocacy and loyalty at the end of last year. Between September and December 2012 the number of Nokia customers that would recommend it rose by 13% to 45%. In the same period, its detractors fell from 37% to 33%.
Although Nokia’s market share fell from a high of 30% in December 2009 to 6% in September 2012, since December 2011 the proportion of its customers using its Lumia smartphone has increased from 1% to 40%. During this period, those using the Symbian operating system decreased from 99% to 60%.
Increase in Lumias
The shift of its customer base to Lumia devices has led to a sharp upturn in its customer satisfaction ratings. Nokia is now ranked first for four of the lesser attributes measured in the SMIX survey – battery life, camera quality, speed of call connection and the robustness of its handsets. While these attributes are lower in importance than others they do help paint a picture of Nokia’s re-emergence. Nokia has also seen sizable increases in its satisfaction ratings for more important attributes - reliability, function speed, internet connection speeds and ease of use.
The launch of the Lumia on Windows Phone 7 and 8 in the run up to Christmas helped the Finnish brand see the biggest improvement in customer loyalty among handset manufacturers. Between September and December 2012, the manufacturer saw a 12% improvement in the number of customers saying they’d get a Nokia next time (up from 30% in September 2012 to 42% in December 2012). However, among smartphone manufacturers Apple retains the highest loyalty ratings, with 80% of its customers saying their next phone would be made by the American company.
Russell Feldman, associate director at YouGov, says: “Nokia has finally turned a corner. By increasing the number of Lumias in its base it has given their customers something worth coming back to. It is now seen by its consumers as a quality smartphone brand. While they are still a fair distance behind Apple and Samsung in terms of market share and loyalty, the fact they have changed consumer perception among their customers puts them in a solid position as the smartphone war intensifies.”