by Karen Coppock
Nokia unveiled a bicycle-powered mobile-phone charger kit along with four low-end phones targeted to emerging markets. Two of the new devices have dual SIM cards (designed to allow for multiple users of one handset or the use of multiple carriers for better calling rates). One device boosts standby battery time of up to 6 weeks and is envisioned for areas where electricity is scarce. The phones range in price from 30 to 45 Euro, which is low for the functionality, but still not completely affordable for many citizens of poorer emerging markets.
The bicycle-powered charger kit is an excellent idea for emerging markets where bicycles are still a very viable mode of transportation and where in many parts (even big cities) electricity is unreliable or unavailable. The long battery life would be valued by emerging-market and developed-country consumers alike as even in countries where electricity is abundant, batteries never seem to last long enough. Firms may want to consider applying some of the innovations designed for emerging markets (long battery life) could be considered for higher-end devices as some needs (always on devices) are valued across the globe.