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Doro backs Nokia’s faith in feature phones

James Pearce
June 17, 2016

UK and Ireland boss Chris Millington insists the market is not exclusively all about smartphones

Doro UK and Ireland managing director Chris Millington believes there is still life in the feature phone market, warning retailers they face losing potential revenue streams by focusing exclusively on smartphones.

His words came last month after O2 began phasing out sales of feature phones across the B2B channel, with business director Ben Dowd claiming it is “more efficient” to move business customers to smartphones.

Millington (pictured) claimed there is still a lot of demand in the channel for cheaper, basic handsets, highlighting the recent announcement that Nokia would return as a brand, developing new feature phones.

O2 decision a blow
“O2 announcing their plans to just sell smartphones through B2B is a blow for our ambitions there, but I think, having made that decision, they will reverse it at some point,” he explained. “That’s because they will lose business otherwise.

“Feature phones are here to stay – just because the major manufacturers have stopped making them, and because the market is generally older, doesn’t mean you don’t want to sell to it.”

Challenging times
According to IDC, Doro is currently the second biggest feature phone maker by volume, behind Nokia.

He was speaking following Doro’s Q1 financial results, which saw the Swedish manufacturer’s revenue grow by 22 per cent to SEK 413 million (£33.9 million).

Though Millington said Doro was performing well, he said a global slowdown in device sales and economic factors such as the upcoming vote on the UK’s membership of the EU, could slow the manufacturer’s growth.

“In a market that is flat in the UK, and in many parts in decline, we’re holding our own. We’re pleased with where we are and we’re in a great place.

“From a consumer focus we’re great, and I can see the B2B side coming on a lot faster. They will become more vocal because so many companies are pulling away from it, and that plays in to our hands.”

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