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One hurt as Nokia battery bursts in Nepal - report

world Updated: Sep 05, 2007 03:47 IST

IANS
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Less than a month after Finnish mobile giant Nokia offered to replace a faulty battery, a man in southern Nepal was injured when his Nokia phone battery exploded at night, a newspaper report said.

Zahir Miya Thakurai, a resident of Katahariya village in Bara district near the Indo-Nepal border, sustained face injuries when his Nokia mobile phone exploded Friday night, the Himalayan Times daily reported Monday.

Thakurai was sleeping when the mobile, kept under his pillow, exploded.

The 48-year-old is undergoing treatment in Adampur in India, the daily said.

The report could not be confirmed independently. Also, it did not say whether the battery belonged to the faulty battery series or was a counterfeit one.

Earlier media reports had said that about 1,000 Nokia phone sets with the controversial battery manufactured by Japan's Matsushita - BL-5C - had been couriered to the company after it offered to replace the batteries.

Nokia's authorised dealers in Nepal say that phones with faulty batteries are mostly those bought in the grey market.

In June, when Prem Prakash Chand, general manager of Nokia's Emerging Asia, had come to Kathmandu, he had said that 90 per cent of the handsets available in Nepal are brought in illegally, depriving the government of revenue.

"Consumers are also being cheated of value, because they may end up buying a handset that is perhaps not genuine, is refurbished, or has counterfeit batteries," Chand had told the Nepali Times weekly.

To fight the grey market trade in Nokia handsets, the firm recently appointed two agencies, Neoteric and Paramount Electronics, as its distributors in Nepal.

The devices the company has in mind for Nepal are mostly low-end ones like Nokia 1110I, that is durable, easy to use and has a long battery life.

However, it is also marketing feature-filled devices like the Nokia Nseries, Eseries, and the Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition.

In addition, Chand said Nokia would set up customer care points, branded outlets and concept stores, where new tools and devices could be tried out by customers.