How Samsung Moved Nokia's Cheese: Samsung has many advantages over Nokia

Your cover story How Samsung Moved Nokia's Cheese (May 27) has once again proved that necessity is mother of all innovation.

Advantage Samsung
Your cover story How Samsung Moved Nokia's Cheese (May 27) has once again proved that necessity is mother of all innovation. The arrival of new products in mature markets based on Android operating systems helped Samsung immensely. Nokia is still betting on Windows. Samsung's low-range smartphones as well as its high-end phones are best of the lot. It has also beaten BlackBerry in the field of office phones. No doubt Nokia is trying hard to regain its monopoly with the introduction of the Lumia 900 and adding the Nokia 808 PureView to its smartphone arsenal. But I still feel Samsung has many advantages over Nokia.
Debalina Das, Kolkata

End of an Era?

The latest TRAI recommended base prices for the forthcoming spectrum auction are at levels that can cripple the expansion of rural telephony services. India's telephony costs are among the lowest in the world. We have caught up with China in teledensity in a relatively short period. But if the operators raise charges to pay for spectrum at the rates TRAI has suggested, many rural subscribers may no longer be able to afford having mobiles. TRAI ought to rethink its curious recommendations.
Srija Nair, Delhi

Samsung vs Nokia
Business Today received a clarificatory e-mail from Nokia on 'How Samsung Moved Nokia's Cheese', dated May 27, 2012. Edited excerpts:
Your cover story reports Samsung has overtaken Nokia in March 2012 in value terms. We would like to highlight that this is incorrect. The data that you have used quotes only Urban retail sales data from the GfK-Nielsen survey and is misrepresented as All India data. GfK-Nielsen's Urban data covers 793 cities and towns each with population more than 50,000, while its All India coverage is of 4,378 cities and towns and 586,000 villages.

According to the All India data from GfK-Nielsen for March 2012, Nokia is a clear leader of the overall Indian mobile handset industry - both in value and volume terms respectively. Unfortunately, we are legally bound not to share market data from GfK-Nielsen. This story has had significant negative ramifications on the Nokia brand in India and the trust our consumers, partners and other stakeholders have in the brand, besides impacting the morale of 10,000 Nokia employees.
Poonam Kaul, Director, Communications Nokia India

Business Today responds:
The conclusions in the story were based on Urban data from GfK-Nielsen, a highly respected but confidential source for market sales numbers. Business Today followed the best journalistic practice in this story, as it does with all its reporting, and contacted all sides for their versions. Neither Nokia nor Samsung clarified that the data was urban-only; GfK-Nielsen declined comment. We have subsequently learnt that Nokia leads Samsung by 1.4 percentage points in All India value market share (31.7 per cent vs. 30.3 per cent) in March 2012. The Urban data we used in the story had Samsung ahead by 0.4 percentage points in March 2012. We have learnt that in GfK-Nielsen's methodology, Urban sales account for 55 per cent of All India sales in volume terms and about two-thirds in value terms.

We also erred in saying the Urban data was sourced from 50 cities and in mis-labelling March 2012 data as March 2011 data. We regret the errors.

The Editor