Nokia unveils low-cost handsets to regain share in emerging markets
Nokia is attempting its rebuild its market share in developing markets with the announcement of two new dual-SIM handsets. The low-cost devices will ship with a licence to download 40 games by Electronic Arts and offer Internet access using a new browser from Novarra, which Nokia acquired in 2010.
The new Nokia 110 model will sell for €35 with delivery during the second quarter, while the Nokia 112 model will cost €38 and become available in the third quarter. Both handset are based upon Nokia's Series 40 software.
"Today's mobile phone users want a quick Internet experience that allows them to discover great content and share it with their friends--but without being held back by high data costs," Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive vice president of mobile phones, said in a statement.
The need for the company to take urgent action to stop any further decline in developing markets came after Nokia revealed that unit sales of its low-end handsets had plunged 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.
Commenting on the new handsets, Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight, told Reuters: "These products are critical for Nokia to maintain traction in the face of mounting competition from Samsung and the Chinese rivals. Nokia's Series 40 platform is under attack from all sides. Full touch support is a must if Nokia is to fend off the challenge from aggressively priced Android devices."
Nokia began introducing dual-SIM devices for emerging markets in the second quarter of 2011. Since then, the company has introduced its Asha sub-brand to appeal to consumers, especially young ones, in emerging markets.
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