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Nokia Unveils "Next Billion" Strategy

David Murphy

Nokia has unveiled its strategy to connect the next billion people to the internet, based on leveraging its capability to provide emerging markets with powerful yet affordable mobile phones and locally-relevant Ovi services.

In a keynote speech at the Nokia World event, Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive vice president for mobile phones, said: "More people will join the information age using a mobile phone than a PC. With approximately 80 per cent of the world's population in reach of a cell tower, it is the mobile phone that will offer the first PC-like experience for many of the next billion people who will come online." 

McDowell went on to say that Nokia will leverage its local knowledge of consumers, distribution strength and scale, to innovate and deliver what consumers deem is valuable, at prices they can afford.

Nokia aims to, and indeed already does, target users in emerging markets via Ovi services such as Ovi Mail, Ovi Browser (beta), Ovi Music and Nokia Money. The company also believes that with Series 40 as the world's largest mobile platform, there is plenty of opportunity for third parties to develop locally relevant apps and achieve volumes.

Nokia has also entered into an alliance with small business specialist Intuit to develop and deliver a mobile and web-based marketing service for small businesses around the world. The companies says the service will be designed to help the world’s estimated 500m small businesses to get more business through personalized, relevant offers and marketing messages. The first market launch of the service is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010, further details will be made available at that time.

“Small businesses need every advantage to stay ahead of the pack in today’s competitive environment,” says Alex Lintner, president of Intuit’s Global Business Division. “We plan to offer them a way to strengthen customer relationships, through targeted communications that increase sales by delivering more customer visits. We’re applying the same proven formula we’ve used with QuickBooks to help small businesses succeed by better serving their customers.”

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