The last few years haven’t been all that kind to Nokia. The advent of Apple’s multi-million selling iPhone – and the smartphone revolution more generally – really seemed to catch the company on the back foot for a while, but now Nokia is hoping that its new ultra low-price phone will help its fortunes in other areas.
Launched at this year’s Mobile World Congress and aimed primarily at consumers in the developing world, the Nokia 105 handset has basic call-and-text capabilities. Perhaps its most intriguing selling point is that it needs charging less than once a month – something which is likely to prove particularly handy in developing countries, where electricity supplies are often unreliable. Priced at £13, the 105 is due to hit the shelves officially in the next few weeks.
Phone geeks will also be intrigued about the other projects Nokia is rumoured to have in the pipeline. The grapevine has been full of chat about the prospect of an aluminium successor to the polycarbonate 920. The 920 debuted to strong reviews but has had a fairly lukewarm reception in terms of sales and Nokia is hoping to finally justify its partnership with Microsoft with every new Windows Phones handset it makes. Exactly how this new handset is likely to shape up isn’t yet clear, but those in the know have been strongly hinting at the possibility that it’ll include the incredible Pureview camera found in the Nokia Pureview 909. Nokia has always been proud of its cameras and this is a big chance for them to showcase their latest and greatest in a more mainstream handset than the somewhat niche 909.
All this also begs the question of how other manufacturers will respond to the renewed efforts from Nokia. Rival firm Blackberry – which has itself endured a bit of a difficult patch over the last couple of years or so – has of course unveiled an OS it believes can finally compete with the iOS and Android juggernauts. With Microsoft pushing the Windows Phone 8 and Android growing its market share at incredible rates, it’ll be worth keeping tabs on how the smartphone market continues to develop.
Where do you see the smartphone market heading? Will you be picking up a Nokia 105 as backup to your main handset? Join the debate by posting a comment below.