Mobile handset majors Nokia and Samsung have hiked the price of their offerings following a one percentage point increase in excise duty and a hike in import duties. Price hike of select handset models are expected to vary between Rs 20 for low-end handsets to Rs 500 for high-end devices. Currently, Finnish handset maker Nokia is the market leader in India followed by Korean electronics giant Samsung. Mr D. Shivakumar, Vice-President and Managing Director (Markets), Nokia, confirmed to Business Line the company's decision to hike price of select models from March 14 because of increase in excise and import duties. Samsung too, confirmed the hike in the prices of around 40 per cent of its models since March 21. The price pinch in case of Nokia will be higher for high-end phones, including smartphones such as E-63 and N-8. Price variations in low-end handsets are expected to be “as low as Rs 20”, a company official said. On the other hand, the price of some Samsung mobile phones will vary between Rs 50 and Rs 500, a Samsung company official added. Impact on Demand When asked about the expected impact of price rise on the demand for handsets in a market that is considered price sensitive, a Nokia official on conditions of anonymity told Business Line that other handset companies too have increased the price of their offerings. “Moreover, in case of high-end handsets, people are expected to overlook the price hike while in case of lower ones, the price hike is negligible,” he added. Meanwhile, Mr Anshul Gupta, principal analyst at research firm Gartner, pointed out that considering the huge demand for handsets, an increase in price is unlikely to lead to a reduction in demand.