NEW DELHI, India – Today Nokia unveiled a stable of new handsets tailored to emerging markets, but it’s the 1202 that really stood out for me. It almost goes without saying that affordability is a key aspect for everyone in any country, but it’s a factor that’s amplified in poorer and more remote areas of India and Africa, so it was hugely encouraging to see the Nokia 1202 was announced bearing a price tag of just 25 Euros, making it the cheapest handset the company has ever launched.
Sure, this is a handset that is stripped back to the bare bones (and would be right at home in The 1100 Club, nonetheless what’s remarkable is the features that have been included and the performance that it manages for such a low price. Which immediately begs the question of how low we can go. 15 Euros? 5 Euros?
Its unassuming shell stomachs some hidden talents that would make many other ‘budget’ phones blush. Designed for use in rural communities, the team responsible for the design has included a large dust resistant keypad and built a flashlight into the device. But what really stands out is the battery life – it has a standby time of up to 26 days and talk time of up to 9 hours, which is extremely valuable to people living in areas where they have to travel a long way (an often into towns) to get their devices charged.
Equally as significant is that this is a phone designed to be shared, by up to five individuals or families – the 1202 has multiple phone books and time and pre-paid tracker, meaning that each user can separate and manage their individual usage. Suddenly it becomes a device costing 5 Euros per person, if bought as a group.
Is that how we should see it? What do you think?