Nokia (not HMD) has entered into a strategic partnership with Flipkart.com in India. Under the partnership, new Nokia branded smart television(s) will be launched in India. This partnership is also reviving the long-standing relationship Nokia had with JBL. The Nokia smart television will come with Sound by JBL. In the past, Nokia launched several co-branded speakers and headphones products with JBL.
This will be the first time for a Nokia branded smart television to be put up for sale. Nokia used to manufacture computer monitors in the 90s, which it sold to ViewSonic. Given the trend, Nokia smart TVs will be powered by Android TV. The design. features and specifications and also the price range of the Nokia smart TVs will be presented later on when the products will be introduced. The television products will be sold exclusively on Flipkart, but they might make way to retail stores with which Flipkart has a collaboration agreement.
Under the partnership, Nokia will lend its brand name to Flipkart for use on smart Television products. Nokia smart TV will be assembled/manufactured in India. Nokia will not be involved in either manufacturing & distribution or sales & support. The partnership is similar to the one that Nokia has with HMD Global wherein HMD is using the Nokia brand and paying brand royalties. Flipkart will pay Nokia a percentage of the sales for using the Nokia brand.
We are delighted that Flipkart, the leading e-commerce company in the country, will bring the first-ever Nokia branded Smart TVs to India. Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in a new category. And where better to start than in India, where our brand has been trusted for quality, design and reliability. Flipkart’s understanding of the needs and behaviors of Indian consumers, and the power of its reach, will help it make Nokia branded Smart TVs accessible and affordable to many,” said Mr Vipul Mehrotra, Vice President, Nokia Brand Partnerships.
All parties will gain something from this new partnership. Flipkart will be able to sell the televisions for a higher margin, thanks to the trust that Indian consumers have in the Nokia brand. Nokia, on the other hand, will continue to have its brand visible and present in the market. Apart from that Nokia will earn from the use of its brand name. JBL will also get a royalty for the use of its brand as well as for the use of sound technology. Consumers will have the option to choose from one more trusted brand when selecting their next television. It does look like a great new opportunity for Nokia and Flipkart.
All that aside, the only thing which is concerning is whether Flipkart will do justice to the Nokia brand. The Nokia brand is associated with quality, design, and reliability. Flipkart can take it to the next level or it can also break all that trust. I hope Nokia has set some rigid terms and conditions regarding product quality and support so that Flipkart does not end up misusing the brand to make some quick bucks and then disappear.