Nokia sharpens focus to connect next billion to the Internet
London, UK – Nokia today unveiled a strategy to connect the “next billion” people to the Internet by leveraging its unique capability to provide emerging markets with powerful yet affordable mobile phones and locally relevant Ovi services. Nokia’s vision of “Connecting People” beyond telephony was a highlight at the final day of the annual Nokia World event, and complemented yesterday’s rollout of a powerful new family of smartphones and updated Ovi services. To demonstrate its commitment to emerging markets, Nokia also updated a portfolio of feature-rich mobile phones and underscored Internet services that cater to a world in which four out of five people are within reach of a cellular signal.
Mary McDowell, Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Mobile Phones, said in her keynote the company is ideally placed to capture much of the projected growth in the global marketplace and that the company intends to maintain its leadership in voice and data for the masses.
“More people will join the information age using a mobile phone than a PC,” McDowell said. “With approximately 80 percent of the world’s population in reach of a cell tower, it is the mobile phone that will offer the first PC-like experience for many of the next billion people who will come online.”
She added that Nokia will leverage its local knowledge of consumers, distribution strength and scale to innovate and deliver what consumers deem is valuable at prices they can afford.
Innovation and portfolio renewalFollowing the recent launch of the Nokia X3 Touch and Type, Nokia unveiled its second touch and type phone: the Nokia C3 Touch and Type, which combines of a touch screen and traditional phone keypad. An affordable design classic, this Series 40 phone also features a full stainless steel chassis, 3G, WLAN, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, a music player, FM radio and it supports up to a 32GB memory card. The phone has fast access to messaging and email plus applications and games from the Ovi Store. Priced at approximately EUR 145, excluding taxes and subsidies, it is expected to be available in Q4 of this year.
Nokia C3 Touch and Type image
McDowell also emphasized that in addition to well-made, well-priced devices, consumers everywhere crave apps that deliver globally and locally relevant content. And they want it quickly, easily and affordably.
“New kinds of services and powerful software typically associated with smartphones are becoming more important in the traditional mobile phone space,” she explained. “We are rolling-out targeted services to meet consumer demand for connectivity, access to information and affordability.”
Responding to a higher consumer demand for information and servicesNokia is responding to higher demand on a number of fronts delivering to the needs of people in growth markets, including the integration of Ovi services. In addition, Nokia provides wide-scale business opportunities for third-party Series 40 developers.
Ovi MailOvi Mail has attracted more than 14 million email activations, the large majority of which are new users coming from emerging markets. In the last six months alone, 60 percent of new Ovi Mail accounts are from Southeast Asia Pacific and Africa, and more than 77 percent of people in the Middle East and Africa are now signing-up for Ovi Mail on their Nokia mobile phone instead of a PC. In addition, more than 80 percent of Ovi Mail consumers globally are accessing their mailboxes from their mobile device.
Ovi Browser in BetaThrough its recent acquisition of Novarra, Nokia brings new browser technology and the power of cloud services to Series 40, enabling more Internet users in emerging markets to get more out of what the Web has to offer. Ovi Browser is now in beta release and makes Series 40 browsing faster, more affordable, easier to use, and more personalized.
Ovi Music A hyper local approach to music services has seen Nokia become the single largest source of digital music revenue in markets including Brazil, Mexico and India, when Nokia digital billings for 2009 are compared against IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) estimates. With music services live across 38 markets, Nokia now offers the most globally scaled digital music footprint.
Ovi Store on Series 40With hundreds of millions of Series 40 devices in use today, Ovi Store provides easy discovery and access to apps as well as high-volume business opportunities for developers. With Series 40 as the world’s largest mobile platform, Nokia believes there is plenty of opportunity for third parties to develop locally relevant apps and achieve volumes. Nokia recently extended its reach launching a fully commercial Ovi Store in China.
Enabling emerging market consumers’ journey into servicesOvi Life Tools and Nokia Money are among the best examples of catering to the needs of emerging markets. They are positively impacting consumers’ lives by providing access to the Internet for education, entertainment, health, business improvement and self improvement.
Today Ovi Life Tools is available in India, Indonesia and China, and now has more than 4.7 million users.
Nokia Money aims to offer consumers with a mobile phone access to basic financial services. Together with YES BANK and Obopay, Nokia’s pilot in Pune, India, called Mobile Money Services by YES BANK, – has moved to full commercialization. The next step for an India-wide rollout is the city of Chandigarh.