Nokia will soon sell a new handset in selected Asia-Pacific and European markets that is geared for buyers looking to enjoy basic communication features plus the indispensable social media tools.
The struggling phone maker unveiled this week the Nokia 109, which obviously was not meant to cater to the needs of smartphone-craving crowd, that will carry a dirt-cheap price tag of $US42.
China and emerging economies are the prime market targets of the new Nokia dumb phone, which has remained a money-making business of the former mobile giant that is now grappling to make a mark on the lucrative smartphone industry.
Analysts viewed the new phone release from Nokia as its way of sustaining gains in the profitable business segment known as feature phones, which in Q3 delivered sales growth of four per cent for the Finnish firm.
And indeed there is a market for simple phones out there as global research firm IDC recently reported that mobile phone manufacturers worldwide shipped out close to 265 million units as of the September quarter this year.
Now that's a lot for Nokia to generate much-needed cash but presently it has to address the mounting threats posed by China firms such as Huawei and ZTE in the same segment plus the onslaught of attractive feature phone handsets from current market leader, Samsung.
Nokia, however, is confident that its approach in the straight-forward mobile phone units would prove more desirable as the 109 would be deployed with built-in access to Facebook and Twitter.
These social media offerings will be complemented by gaming attractions with Nokia forging alliances with popular names like EA, Gameloft, Rovio and Zynga to spice up the phone's amusement capabilities.
Out of the box, owners of the 109 will be allowed to download 10 free EA game titles, underscoring the unit's entertainment value (it's also a radio and media player) that should prod consumers to try it out.
Nokia said the 109's 1.8-inch screen is not a power-hogged and should remain juiced up for at least 7.5 hours of active usage. The unit itself will remain powered up for more than a month in stand-by mode.
While Nokia had mentioned Asia-Pacific as one of the areas where the 109 will be pushed out, it remains unclear the company plans to release the handset in Australia.
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