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Thursday, September 23, 2004
Nokia vies 200 million camera phone mkt


The company that had let rivals catch up with its pace, is back in the fray with renewed fervor with the launch of a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.

Within 3 years after mobile phones started coming with a built- in camera, more than 200 million camera phones will be sold this year. This projection was shared by Juha Putkiranta, Senior VP of the Multimedia division of Nokia, the 24.5 billion Euro (2003) cellphone giant. While speaking at the launch of the company's latest megapixel smartphone Nokia 6670, Putkiranta added that megapixel camera phones offer print quality picture and therefore the need for a separate camera becomes redundant.

Aimed at the corporate users, Nokia 6670 is being touted as 'the compact business tool in your pocket' by the vendor. It comes with features such as VPN and SSL for secure corporate email access, and the big screen makes viewing PowerPoint and Word files easy. The phone also has the capability to connect with the Personal Information System on the corporate users PC and manage and update diaries, and scheduler. This USB and Bluetooth enabled phone comes with a wireless keyboard. It comes with an additional GPS module for map and route guidance, and a remote camera that can be installed at home, for instance. The company has packed fun and entertainment for the business user with an enhanced image editor, and lots of games. The product will be priced at about $500.

The company also took this opportunity to announce that customization for its service provider clients will be a major strategy in the mobile phone war that is likely to hot up in days to come. For instance, from a single model, Nokia can now create almost 250 versions for its different service provider clients across the world.

The customization is done on the basis of so many factors such as packaging, dual branding, local language, specially customized software, and so on. "The idea is to give our service provider clients a differentiator to help them get an edge over their competitors", says Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, executive VP and GM of the Mobile Phone division at Nokia. The company has brought in SAP R3 to streamline and tighten up processes, and eventually cut down on inventory levels and inventory costs.

For a company where sales of mobile phones fetch over 60 percent of revenues, the battle is now going to go beyond the brand leadership. As emerging economies with lots of low income group consumers will now form the biggest growth markets, Nokia will also have to emerge as a price leader, which it is not, currently.

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