ET is reporting that Nokia is planning to launch a limited number of handsets at the sub Rs.1000 price point and is also planning to launch a handset at the Rs.500 price point.Nokia wants to boost it’s Nokia Life Tools offerings by offering low cost handsets to users in rural India. Nokia Life Tools is a service for the Aam Aadmi or the Common Man and offers tips about Agriculture , Education and entertainment to a user base who virtually have now access to the internet and other information sources.
When Nokia CEO , OPK spoke about Nokia in emerging markets and announced the Calling All Innovators challenge which offers a $1m prize to an organization presenting the best idea for a product / solution which will improve the lives of people where the average daily income is less than US$5 a day.
Nokia latest offerings are drawing a lot of negative criticism in the industry mainly for the fact that they are not on par with other players such as Apple’s iPhone and Google Android phones. The Maemo powered Nokia N900 is certainly a great handset but it’s not available in all countries and is just the first Maemo device which means that it lags in a few areas.
But Nokia deserves appreciation for sticking to their tag-line Connecting People . If Nokia manages to launch a phone at the Rs.500 price point , it will be changing the lives of millions of people in rural areas. And Rs.500 is just around 10 USD and we have no idea how will Nokia manufacture a phone at such low cost. But there are other players like GeePee who are playing the pricing game and Chinese phones are a big hit in rural areas. But Nokia can fare really well considering their marketing bandwidth and brand equity in countries such as India.
Nokia might just surprise us and announce these handsets at Mobile World Congress. Just wait for next week for some exciting news !