Nokia aims new phone at emerging markets

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mobile phone giant Nokia said Wednesday it was expanding its range with a new handset to sell cheaply in rapidly growing emerging markets.

The Finnish group said the folding 2652 model would have an estimated retail price of 100 euros ($121) and be sold from next month in China, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Nokia said it still saw plenty of untapped opportunities and was committed to new growth markets, among which it also listed Brazil, Russia and India.

“In these markets, affordability of mobile communications for subscribers is the key factor,” it said in a statement.

Kai Oistamo, head of the division which makes Nokia’s cheapest handsets, said the company was working with telecoms operators to come up with affordable phones and systems that cut the total cost of owning mobile phones and using their services.

Earlier this year, Nokia announced the 1110 and 1600 low-end models aimed at first-time users in growth markets such as Africa, as it competes with No. 2 handset firm Motorola of the United States to capitalize on explosive demand.

Oistamo said that with the mix of phones, network equipment and telecoms services and regulations, Nokia believed it was possible for operators to offer mobile services profitably to a broader range of consumers for as little as $5 per month.

“When the cost of mobile services becomes this affordable, we foresee the growth curve in growth markets accelerating sharply,” he said in a statement.

The world’s mobile subscriber market has now passed the 2 billion mark, according to industry figures, and Nokia said it had now sold its 1 billionth phone.

The Finnish group expects to launch more than 40 new handset models in 2005.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)