Nokia Ups Its Game in India
The service will be available through all of India's leading mobile operators, with consumers having to pay only for the basic data download charges.
Nokia's device market share has been slipping as small but aggressive local players like Micromax Informatics Ltd. , Karbonn Mobiles , and Maxx Mobile Communications Ltd. increase their sales and extend their brand awareness, and today's launch looks to be an effort to regain lost ground. (See Indian Handset Firms Grab Market Share.)
Nokia's messaging service is supported on more than 33 Symbian devices and has more than 3 million active users in over 100 countries. "India is among the top five countries for the service, and we're confident that with our decision to offer it for free, we will see a significant surge in adoption of email and messaging services in the country," stated Nokia's head of markets, Anssi Vanjoki, at a press conference in New Delhi.
He added that, in the future, the messaging service will be rolled out across a broader range of Nokia devices.
To support its new services offer, the Finnish giant also announced the coming availability of three new smartphone devices that support the messaging service -- the C3, C6, and E5. (See Nokia Phones Gets Social.)
Expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2010, the C3 is designed for the mass consumer market and is likely to be available at the equivalent of €90 (US$120). The E5 is aimed at business users and will be available during the third quarter for around €180 ($240). The C6 is the most expensive and is set to be priced at €220 ($293.35).
Commenting on his firm's smartphone strategy, D Shivakumar, managing director of Nokia’s Indian operations, said: "We want to drive to bring the cost down so that a larger section of the society is able to access them. With 3G also coming, we see a huge market [for smartphone devices]. We are going to be very aggressive in this market." (See India 3G: And They're Off!)
Nokia isn't the only company that's prepared for growing smartphone demand in India: A number of the vendor's main rivals recently launched new models into the market. (See India's Smartphone Battlezone.)
— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading