Nokia targets youth with low-cost handsets
Posted Tuesday, July 31 2012 at 20:06
Nokia is luring Kenya’s youth with low-cost trendy mobile phones in an attempt to capture market share from rivals Samsung and Huawei.
South Korea’s Samsung overtook Nokia as the world’s top handset maker for the first time in March, ending the Finnish firm’s 14-year reign.
Now, Nokia is betting on low-priced smartphones to gain market share in emerging countries like Kenya as it seeks to cut dominance of Apple and Samsung.
On Tuesday, it launched new dual SIM, touch screen phones under its low-end Asha range retailing at between Sh6,000 and Sh7,700.
“It is estimated that 82 per cent of youth in Kenya have mobile phones and therefore we do not have to market mobility to them, but the benefits our new products offer,” said Bruce Howe, Nokia East Africa general manager.
“Pricing is a very key component with the youth and we believe that the Nokia Asha range aligns perfectly to their needs,” said Mr Howe, adding that more low-cost and trendy phones will be unveiled.
Owners of the new phones will also have a limited period of 60 days within which to download 40 mobile games from international gaming firm EA Sports for free.
Findings by research firm Youth Dynamix show that young Kenyans aged between 16 and 24 are constantly on their cell phones—texting and surfing the Internet— and send an average of 250 messages as texts and chat posts daily.
“The youth are keen on owning either QWERTY or fully touch gadgets that have impressive features.
This informed the decision to launch the fully touch Nokia Asha 305 phone in the market,” said Mr Howe.
Nokia’s decision to shift its focus to the youth comes at a time when rivals Samsung and Apple are locked in a battle for the high-end smartphone market both locally and internationally.
This has seen Nokia turn to developing countries to grow its share after the stiff competition saw it shed more than 30,000 jobs in three years and said it planned to cut one in five jobs . It also moved production to Asia from Europe to cut costs and losses.