Nokia will unveil for India next year an Internet-browser enabled handset priced at around Rs. 2,500 as part of a strategy to sell low-priced models with value-added features. Presumably, it will take on Google's Android-based cheap handsets in the works.
The Finnish giant on Tuesday announced seven new entry-level devices priced around Rs. 1,550 to Rs. 6,000 before local taxes, and a host of services targeted at small towns and villages as part of a strategy to conquer emerging markets amid tough competition.
The new offerings from Nokia are also configured for easy access of services like e-mail and content. They also enable direct creation of e-mail accounts using a handset instead of a personal computer. It has launched a service plan called Life Tools under which users will get text-message alerts on topics like education, weather and agriculture, with content tie-ups involving partners like Reuters.
Nokia had hit the low-price market in India with its 1100 model that cost about Rs. 1,100 some months after its entry, but the new models offer more features and a host of service possibilities.
“There is a possibility that these handsets could be bundled with operators and those details are being worked out,” said Robert Andersson, executive vice-president, devices, Nokia.
Nokia has also tied up with microfinance company SKS Microfinance that will allow users to pay as low as $1.9 or close to Rs 100 per week as an instalment for the handset.
Nokia has already initiated a pilot project in India for Life Tools with operator Idea Cellular. Users will have to shell out anywhere between Rs 30 to Rs 60 for a monthly subscription of the service.
“With the new price points and services, Nokia will be able to tap both the first time as well as the replacement buyer,” said Anshul Gupta, analyst at industry researcher Gartner.