By Prince Osuagwu , who was in Nairobi, Kenya
Basking from the euphoria of a seemingly unshakeable market leadership in global mobile phone sales, mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia, is perhaps no longer looking at technology as a marketing tool but a strategy to achieve a seemingly three-pronged ideologies to empower the world â€”Â Innovation, People and Possibilities.
Although Nokia did not clearly say this, it could be an apt way to describe the innovation the company brought to bear in launching an eco-friendly alternative mobile phone charger, Nokia bicycle charger kit alongside three other entry level mobile devices in Nairobi, Kenya last week.
The Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit consists of a charger and dynamo, as well as a holder to secure the phone to the bike. When the kit is installed, the dynamo, a small electrical generator which usually uses the movement of the wheels to charge the bicycle head lamps, now charges the phone through the standard 2mm charging jack used in most Nokia mobile phones.
Vice President Entry category Nokia, Mr Alex Lambeek said that, Nokia was thinking of a more innovative, easy way of helping the entry level users solve the problem of power and therefore through research and design, stumble upon the technology.
â€œNow, with our innovative bike charger, people get even more freedom to use their Nokia without worrying about battery life. Bicycles are the most widespread means of transport in many markets around the world, so this is just one more benefit to be gained from an activity people are already doingâ€. For him the device is a great solution to a real challenge, for people that need it due to limited access to electricity, or to be more environmentally responsible.
Nokia said the kit would be available before the end of the year in selected retailers and Nokia online and branded retail shops around the world
Large crowd of Kenyans as well as journalists from around the world who witnessed the Launch at the Serena Hotels Nairobi, Kenya, admitted that the innovation portrays Nokia as having enormous prowess in research and development, R&D.
The product in the late 60s and early 70s was in use, particularly to empower the bicycle head lamps but research has turned it to a piece of unique technology that can solve one of the greatestÂ problems facing the new mobile communications entrants.
Nokia said that part of the reasons it chose Kenya for the launch was because the product is initially aimed at emerging markets and Places where electricity may be scarce, unreliable or expensive. And now making it possible for a bicycle to charge a phone creates some kind of confidenceto the new entrants tof a guaranteed communication.
Yet this innovation can create a sustainable micro-business for some individuals.While the product bridges the power gap between the developed and developing nations, some sharp rural African cyclists can also plug in on it to carve out a means to earn a living.
However for countries which rurals mainly use the motorcycle as means of transport, Lambeek also promised that in the near future Nokia may extend the technology.
The new dual SIM entry devices
In a related development Nokia also launched the C-seriesÂ Dual-Sim mobile phones which it said welcomes the new entrants in the mobile communications world in a big way.
The newly launched Nokia C series comprises of Nokia C1 and Nokia C2. Both phones are Nokiaâ€™s entrant into the dual SIM competition which users have long expected it to dominate.
According to Lambeek, the phones are travel-friendly gadgets that can enable switch between SIM cards and save users call costs. The Nokia C1 comes in three variants namely Nokia C1-00, Nokia C1-01, and Nokia C1-02.
Lambeek told Hi-Tech that the C series phones when they enter into the market would be truly affordable.
C1-00 is powered by high stamina battery that has the capacity to withstand for 6 weeks. This is in addition to the flashlight, FM radio, and the 3.5mm headphone jack facilities coming with it.
The product displays colour screen and weighs 73g with 15mm thinness.For style idols, the product comes in blue, red, light grey and green colours.
The product, Nokia said, has the capacity to store 500 phone book entries and 250 messages. Meanwhile, both Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C2-02 are crafted with distinct features like bright color screens, microSD,web browsing, photography,32 GB music , Bluetooth, GPRS, Nokia Messaging and email.
BothÂ of them run on Series 40 interface with dual-band ECSM and GSM communications and GPRS for data.
The products have in-built VGA camera, Ovi Mail, Chat Bluetooth, MicroSD, and music.
However, the Nokia C2 has more stuff that one would wonder why it was called the entry level.The device has active dual SIM functionality that enables the user to answer one call and hold the other.
ItÂ offers healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment via the Nokia Ovi Life Tools, as well as the email account for the developing world, Ovi Mail. The device also comes in various colours including grey, black, magenta, dark blue or white colors and it runs on Series 40 with 1000 phone book entries and offers 16.5 days of standby time.
Nokia C2 is energized by a swappable battery.