Nokia attacks emerging markets with 105 and 301 handsets

Nokia signalled its intention for an assault on the world’s emerging markets on Monday morning, as it launched the Nokia 105 and Nokia 301 budget handsets.

We have already seen a similar mobile strategy from Mozilla here at MWC, as the group unveiled its Firefox OS last night – software that will run primarily on mid- and entry-level devices.

And Nokia CEO Stephen Elop repeatedly emphasised the importance of non-Western markets as he talked the assembled press through the 105 and 301 models, in addition to the Lumia 520 and 720 that were announced, also targeting emerging countries.

Emblematic of the manufacturer’s refreshed attack on alternative segments is the pricing and release of the Nokia 105, which costs just 15 Euros (£13) and will be launched in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Vietnam and other markets in Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe over the coming months. The device comes in black or cyan.

The Nokia 301 is due to go on sale in 120 countries during the second quarter, costing 65 Euros (£57). The 301 sports a 2.4-inch display, 3.2 megapixel camera, runs Nokia Xpress Browser, has 3.5G connectivity, and will be available in cyan, black, magenta, yellow, and white versions.

The practical-oriented devices have what Marko Ahtisaari, head of Nokia design, called “amazing battery life”, claiming the 105 only needs charging once per month.

As major firms place increased emphasis on budget mobile strategies, we assessed the approach of the aforementioned Mozilla last night, having had an early hands-on with the Firefox OS via the new Alcatel One Touch Fire smartphone.