May 5, 2006

Nokia prepares for Africa, Middle East market boom

phone_anim_hi_170.gif Finland-based Nokia said on Thursday at a regional launch of a new trio of cheap phones that it expected "strong double-digit growth" this year in Africa and the Middle East, where demand is booming and market penetration is still low, reports Reuters.

"Mobile phone use shot up about 50 times in Africa between 1999 and 2003 due in part to patchy fixed-line infrastructure and falling tariffs, but only 100 million, or around 9 percent of the population, own a mobile phone so far.

... Nokia will start selling the three low-cost handsets in mid-2006. ...The cheapest of the new models -- the 1112 -- would retail at approximately $55, although this could vary widely depending on tax and subsidies.

Some analysts have expressed scepticism about low-cost handsets, noting that taxes in some African countries are as high as 40 percent, which inflates prices and forces many poorer people to buy phones on the second-hand or "grey" market."

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-- Philips Develops Platform for $20 Cell Phones

-- Hop-on's Low Cost Phones Set For Mass Production

-- Motorola wins new cheap phone deal with $30 model

-- Motorola to sell phones for less than $40 in emerging markets

-- Hop-on's $36 Cell Phone

-- Microsoft Peabody phone will be aimed at mass market

-- Study Faults High Cellphone Taxes

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