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Nokia To Make Cheap, Simple Phones For Newbies

Handset vendor announces strategy that includes low-cost, simplified phones to appeal to first-time users and those in emerging nations such as those in Africa.
Joining other handset vendors such as Motorola, Nokia Thursday unveiled its strategy to appeal to users who want low-end phones and new users in emerging nations.

Numerous global market studies have shown that the number of mobile subscribers is peaking in developed nations such as those in Europe and North America but that emerging nations, such as those in Africa, still have enormous untapped potential. Hoping to cash in on that trend, several other handset vendors have already announced new lines of phones aimed at first-time users in such nations.

Nokia unveiled its plans -- as well as two new low-end phones -- at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

"The number of new mobile users in fast growing markets continues to rise dramatically and nowhere is the rate of growth more evident than in Africa," Juha Pinomaa, a Nokia vice president, said I a statement. "By the end of this year, Nokia anticipates Africa will be home to 100 million subscribers and expects the African subscriber base to double to 200 million by 2009."

To appeal to users in emerging markets, the company unveiled its Nokia 1110 and Nokia 1600 handsets, which it said will be low-cost and simple to use. The handsets will be available in the third quarter of this year. The Nokia 1110, which has a black and white display, will cost about 65 euros and the color Nokia 1600 will cost about 85 euros.

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