Nokia Lowers Price of Ozo Camera, Enters Chinese Market

Alexis MacklinAnalysis

On Monday Nokia announced intent to expand its professional 360-degree camera, Ozo, to the Chinese market. This entails a new permanent reduced price point from $60,000 to $45,000. VR and AR industry analysts, including Digi-Capital, expect the Asian VR/AR market to be more than double the size of the North American market by 2020.

(Nokia’s Ozo 360-degree camera)

To head it’s distribution in China, Nokia has partnered with Chinese tech firm LeEco, which recently purchased Vizio for $2 billion. The partnership is beneficial beyond just distribution. LeEco will publish Ozo video content on its LeVR mobile app.  The tech firm also has experience creative content experience through its movie studio devision LeVision, and its LeVR devision also produces its own headset. This contributes to the Ozo reaching a broader audience in China, targeting both film makers and consumers. Reaching consumers through a mobile content platform can build brand recognition and prestige as Nokia is trying to break into the Chinese market.

(Learn more about the VR industry in Greenlight Insights’ 2016 Virtual Reality Industry Report)

The Chinese VR market is growing at a rate that is competitive with the U.S. market. Consumers are focused on both mobile and location-based VR experiences. Internet cafes are adding VR booths for visitors to pay to experience high-end VR. The every-day consumer is also being exposed to VR through their mobile smart phones. China has a plethora of mobile headsets that easily available. This of course does not mean immediate success.

There is a high demand for creation tools in markets like Beijing and Shanghai, but there are significant barriers to marketing and selling VR headsets and cameras in China, which makes partner selection so critical for companies big and small. Introducing a new product in a new market offers many difficulties including marketing to a new culture, navigating government regulations, and developing an effective supply chain model to account for an appropriate demand. A local partnership can help guide a new product introduction and build relationships with local retail distributors.

Additional Analysis from Greenlight Insights Managing Director Eddie Lou, who oversees Greenlight’s research and business development initiatives in China.

“OZO is one of the best solution on the market, especially with the superior omni sound capturing, but the video capture still has minor issues on stitching and color balancing which needs to be fixed from post processing. Partnering with LeEco will open up a new content distribution channel for Nokia, but device distribution could still be a problem. Even with a price drop, it would still be difficult for small studios to purchase. Nokia needs to do so much more apart from selling the device to make OZO successful among content creators.”

Interested in learning more about the 360-degree camera market? Greenlight Insights will be releasing a camera report by the end of October 2016. Sign up for updates to learn more.