22 January 2008

User research informs design of Nokia phones for emerging markets

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Phone in Kenya
Nokia announced today that it unveiled two handsets that offer a range of useful features and colours aimed at consumers in emerging markets. Interestingly they have each been designed based on extensive user research.

Nokia 2600 classic for personalisation

The Nokia 2600 classic allows consumers to customize their phone with colourful, fully changeable Xpress-on covers and MP3 ring tones, and also features a number of entertainment features, including an FM radio and a VGA camera.

“While cost sensitivity is an important element in creating mobile devices for emerging markets, the overwhelming feedback we receive from consumers in these markets is that they want their mobile device to complement their personality and offer a range of colours and entertainment features,” says Alex Lambeek, Vice President, Entry Devices, Nokia.

Nokia 1209 for phone sharing

According to a recent Nokia survey of consumers in emerging markets [conducted in India, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam, Russia and Egypt], a new trend appears to be emerging: phone sharing. More than 50% of respondents in India, Pakistan and nearly 30% in Vietnam indicate that they share, or would share, their mobile phone with family or friends – a figure which contrasts consumer behaviour in more mature markets.

“Phone sharing is a logical trend – more and more families are purchasing a mobile phone for the entire family to use, not just the head of the household. In addition, digital cameras are quickly becoming more popular in these markets, and as such taking and sharing digital images is becoming more common,” adds Lambeek. “In response, Nokia has developed a number of innovative features like the multiple phonebook to support phone sharing, and we have added technologies like Bluetooth to some models to make transferring images and ringtones easy and affordable.”

The second model introduced today, the Nokia 1209, offers additional cost management features to make phone sharing easy and convenient. Innovations include the pre-paid tracker, a cost-tracking application, and the multiple phonebook – which allows up to five people to store personal contact lists of up to two hundred numbers on a single phone.

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Nokia now also has a dedicated website devoted to user research and phone designs for emerging markets, with PDF downloads and video material.

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