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[India] Snapdeal and Jolla Sales in India

asked 2014-10-19 04:57:25 +0300

sifartech gravatar image

updated 2014-10-19 04:59:22 +0300 is the online market chosen by Jolla to sell their phones in India. And while Snapdeal is one of the biggest e-commerce ventures in India (trying to be the ebay or AliExpress of India), I do wonder if the choice was right.

First, Snapdeal was given an exclusive right to market and sell the phone in India. I don't understand this. What did Jolla get in return? Front page marketing? If so, was it worth it?

Personally, I thought the phone was poorly marketed on Snapdeal. To list a few shortcomings:

  1. A few months back, a search for "Jolla" displayed suggestions on everything BUT the Jolla Smartphone. (They seem to have fixed this now, but even when the media were advertising the exclusive partnership and tentative launch of the phones 4-5 months ago, a search for "Jolla" on Snapdeal didn't show the Jolla Smartphone as a suggestion and it seemed as if Snapdeal didn't seem to know anything about the product. Even on the launch date, and many weeks since then, the search suggestions didn't show Jolla smart phones as one of the suggestions. Only if you actually did search for the term, the Jolla smart phone launch landing page was shown in the results.)

  2. The phone wasn't available for sale on the launch date and time on Snapdeal! I had to call and email Snapdeal to ask for clarification and it only showed up for sales after a few hours.

  3. Last week I came across a banner ad on Snapdeal on one of their offer pages, which displayed the Jolla phone (among others) as "exclusives" on Snapdeal. Clicked it, and found only Android phones listed there.

  4. If you read through the reviews and Q&A's on the product page of the Jolla, you will find that most of the users are voicing concern about the "high price" for the "low end specs" of the Jolla Smartphone. Yet the product page is still the same as when it was launched and doesn't do anything to address these concerns.

  5. Nobody uses smartphones in India without a (1) screen guard / screen protector and (2) a case / cover for the phone - currently flip covers are the most popular. As a giant in online sales, Snapdeal must be aware of this. Yet, imagine my surprise that both weren't offered with the phone in India. If not the original, at least Snapdeal or the seller should have made compatible Chinese makes available.

Overall, it would have been better if Jolla hadn't made "exclusive" deals with anybody, but actually sold the phone through all the popular, and trusted online sellers in India, like Snapdeal, Flipkart, and and made some deal with them to show the phones on the front page on the launch date. It would have given Jolla better exposure, and a more diverse customer base.

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The exclusivity was likely a condition on Snapdeal selling the phone at all, and given the importance of local carriers bundling phones with plans having one major player carry the phone is better than none like in most of Europe.

Sure if you're Samsung everyone wants to carry your device, but if you're new to the game then carriers are likely to be reluctant because they dont want to deal with returned devices and support calls.

r0kk3rz ( 2014-10-19 14:17:54 +0300 )edit

@r0kk3rz I seriously hope you don't work for Jolla and were told this! First - Indians do not buy their phones from the carriers, tied to long-term plans, on credit / loan. We pay hard cash and buy the phone outright. (Yes, even the iPhones - those who can afford it). We have one of the world's most competitive telecom industry, and thus enjoy the benefits of one of the lowest tariff rates in the world. So we use the easily available GSM pre-paid sims to get a connection and pay for it by recharging it as and when we need (and that's why many indians have more than 1 connection / number, and also why dual sim and tri-sim phones are popular here). Oh, and we aren't afraid to use CDMA carriers too because we have something called "Mobile Number Portability" - we can easily switch providers without needing to change our numbers. So the CDMA providers can't tie us down to their network, and neither can any GSM carrier. Ok that said, I also want to clarify that Snapdeal isn't a carrier. It's just an e-commerce venture based on the model of ebay and AliExpress. So again, I do wonder what Snapdeal exactly offered to Jolla for their "exclusivity"?

sifartech ( 2014-10-19 22:15:35 +0300 )edit

No I do not work for Jolla, have no insider info, and it appears that I've greatly misunderstood the situation in India.

Is Snapdeal Ebay or is it more like Amazon? there are subtle differences. But if they are more like Amazon then Snapdeal probably bought a large amount of Jolla phones for inventory which is a big win for Jolla, and the trade off is an exclusivity agreement

r0kk3rz ( 2014-10-19 22:21:26 +0300 )edit

No, they are more like Ebay. In fact, Ebay is one of their largest investors, and they also share resources!

sifartech ( 2014-10-19 22:41:48 +0300 )edit

I don't agree that Snapdeal is like eBay. eBay may have invested in them, but Snapdeal (and Flipkart and Amazon) all sell new products only where eBay always you to re-sell used/old products.

I use all three.

  • Snapdeal can be slow to deal with - customer service is not the best - but usually has the best prices.
  • Flipkart used to have better prices, but not any more. Their customer service is better than Snapdeal, but not the best.
  • Amazon has decent prices and probably the best customer service. For example, I've received refunds before even sending the unsuitable product back. Not the case with the others.

I also think that Jolla would do better to make the phone more widely available, but only after pre-installing certain types of (native) applications in advance.

The first thing most people do is to install the usual social networking apps like Facebook, Whatsapp etc. If you have to spell out the differences between the Jolla store and the various Android stores, you've already lost momentum. I used a couple of Android devices for quite a while, and even I'm confused on how the various stores really work.

Sanjay Mehta ( 2014-10-20 05:28:10 +0300 )edit

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answered 2015-03-04 14:15:15 +0300

ossi1967 gravatar image

See this press release, published today:

It might well have been that Jolla chose the exclusive partnership so that Snapdeal would eventually join the Sailfish Alliance... which, in the long run, will be more important than selling the first phone.

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Thanks for sharing this news. That explains a lot ... though I still have doubts about snapdeal's commitment to Jolla, it is nevertheless encouraging to hear that they are interested ... Jolla should try to convince Micromax too, if they can, with Sailfish Secure ...

sifartech ( 2015-03-05 06:17:39 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-10-19 04:57:25 +0300

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Last updated: Mar 04 '15