By Prince Osuagwu, who was in Nairobi, Kenya

Frontline mobile phone makers, Nokia, at the weekend announced that it was targeting to use the next few years to connect the next one billion people that are yet to be connected to mobile communications.

To achieve that, the company also at the weekend, launched two mobile devices, the Nokia 100 and Nokia 101, which it said were strategically designed to be affordable to enable the new entrants migrate effortlessly onto the growing mobile world.

This is also as it later introduced a new Nokia 500 entry-level smartphone to enable the new entrants enter the mobile euphoria in a smart way.

The two products which were unveiled at the Serena Hotels, Nairobi Kenya, according to Nokia, were also built with relevant smart applications and are targeted towards the emerging markets where most of these one billion new entrants live.

New products unveiled

Unveiling the new products, Nokia’s Executive Vice President, Mobile Phones, Mary McDowell said that “We recognize that for many of the next billion people, a phone purchase is an investment. People are looking for a phone that offers great features but also one that is dependable,”.

“The launch was in continuing with Nokia’s commitment to connecting the next billion consumers with mobile devices that offer modern, attractive designs, a range of practical and fun features, and services that extend the value of the phone with access to information and entertainment”.

According to her, “the Nokia 101 is Nokia’s fifth dual SIM device in the last three months and is the most affordable to date. The dual SIM functionality enables users to connect to two different networks to receive calls and messages while the Nokia SIM manager allows users to select which SIM card to use to make a call or send a text message”.

L-R: Nokia's VP, Mobile phones, product marketing, Ms Blanca Merino de Juti; Executive VP, Mobile Phones, Mary McDowell and VP, Sales, Nokia Africa, Brad Brockhaug at the launch in Kenya.

She also described the Nokia 100 as “perfect device for people looking for durability and simplicity as well as affordability when making calls and sending text messages.

The Nokia 100 is Nokia’s most affordable colour display phone, and people can enjoy its new attractive grid-based menu system with fun and easy-to-read icons. Furthermore, the Nokia 100 features an FM radio, enabling users to tune into their favorite music stations, whether on-the-go or at home.

Both the Nokia 101 and Nokia 100 offer Nokia Life Tools and Nokia Money which provide instant access to locally-relevant information on healthcare, education, agriculture and entertainment.

Nokia said that the Nokia 101 will be available in the third quarter of 2011 while the Nokia 100 will be available in the fourth quarter of 2011. Meanwhile in chat with Hi-Tech, Nokia’s Vice President, Mobile phones, product marketing, Ms Blanca Merino de Juti had revealed that Nokia was doing everything possible to ensure that the new entrants do not only enter the mobile world conveniently but also join the current smart trend in mobile technology.

New Nokia 500

In a similar development, the company also has introduced a new entry level touch screen smartphone tagged Nokia 500. According to Nokia, the phone has ruggedness that refuses to compromise on quality or performance.

The model is touted to incorporate Nokia’s fastest processor to date, with a 5MP camera, music and entertainment experience and preloaded with Maps and turn by turn navigation. The Nokia 500 extends Nokia’s portfolio into the entry-level smartphone market without sacrificing quality.

As the newest addition to Nokia’s range of Symbian-based devices, the Nokia 500 is built on the latest Symbian Anna user experience with enhanced software features, a faster Web browser and newOvi Maps.

“Until now, affordable smartphones too often meant low quality hardware and a substandard user experience,” said IlariNurmi, Vice President at Nokia. “This is another example of Nokia’s continued commitment to innovate in our smartphone portfolio and an example of how Symbian can continue to help us address key market opportunities over the coming years.”

Get to the content that matters quickly

Keeping in touch with friends and family is lightning quickwith the Nokia 500. Facebook, Twitter, RenRen, and other social networks and live chats are updated directly on the homescreen. Withits 1GHz processor, the Nokia 500 is one of the fastest smartphones at its price point, allowing people to have lots of apps open at the same time, switch between apps quickly and easily, and run the most demanding apps without slowing down the phone.

It includes Nokia’s latest web browsing technology, which when paired with the powerful processor, delivers a more satisfying browsing and internet experience.

The Nokia 500 comes pre-loaded with some of the best music and entertainment apps such as Shazam Encore, Gig Finder, Lonely Planet and Michelin guides.

This entry-level smartphone also boasts access to Nokia’s latest maps technology, optimized for social networking so users can check-in to locations around the world. Offline voice-guided walking and driving directions in over 80 countries help to avoid hefty data roaming charges.

The Nokia 500 is available from the third quarter of 2011 in black, quickly followed by the Nokia 500 white at the end of the year. Both will come with two different interchangeable back covers. New back covers with more colours and designs will also be available later this year. The Nokia 500 retails at EUR 150 before taxes and subsidies.

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