Electronics Production | August 29, 2011

Nokia: Still potential for brand expansion in China market

TrendForce and Avanti Research Partners recently released a joint research report regarding China’s smartphone market in 2011.
The research report reveals several interesting results. First, Nokia’s brand presence in China is stronger than expected. The manufacturer had decent results in the categories of brand awareness, use, and brand switching. Although Nokia is currently at a low, by taking advantage of their brand awareness and perhaps adopting new devices, the company still has a chance to achieve good sales results in China.

As for other cell phone manufacturers, in previous years HTC barely left an impression on users, but the company’s results in the current survey were not bad. When asked about which brands users would switch to for their next purchase, HTC ranked third, coming in behind Nokia and Apple.

Brand Awareness Ranking By Year

© Avanti

Avanti’s report indicates, whether in the “Top of Mind” or “Unaided Brand Awareness” categories, Nokia took the lead, and had the highest rate of use overall. In terms of smartphone use, Nokia was also in first place, while Apple improved the most, from ninth place in 2010 to fourth in 2011. HTC entered the top ten for the first time this year.

The younger the consumer, the stronger their brand awareness is for Nokia, Apple, Sony Ericsson, and HTC. In contrast, older consumers prefer Samsung and Motorola.

In terms of gender differences, males prefer Nokia, Motorola, and HTC, while females prefer Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

Everyone Switching to Smartphones

As for switching cell phones, the research indicates that 95% of users plan to purchase a smartphone within the next year, and Nokia is the brand most users want to switch to. The iPhone has the highest brand loyalty, at 71%. 27% of Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola users indicate that they plan to buy an iPhone when making the switch to smartphones.

Symbian is the platform most users want to abandon when considering a smartphone platform switch. While the Symbian platform has the largest market share in China, brand stickiness to the OS is low, due to lower availability of legally purchasable apps and an unpopular interface.

Cell Phone Brand Ranking by Year

© Avanti

In terms of annual ranking for 2010 and 2011, Nokia and Apple remained in first and second place, while Samsung and Motorola were overtaken by HTC.

The Future of Operating Systems

As for operating systems, in the past two years iOS and Android have been the most popular, while Symbian is gradually falling behind. Notably, the survey results reveal that users are becoming more and more aware of which systems they currently use and which they plan to use in the future. The proportion of users that are unsure about OS choice has decreased significantly. There is also less room for survival of non-major operating systems.

What then, is the main reason for users making the switch to smartphones? The answer is unsurprising, as users globally are attracted to the same thing: Internet access. As for most downloaded apps, e-books, entertainment, and games are the top three; the first place category a reflection of Chinese citizens’ thirst for information.


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