Nokia: Mobile phones, not PCs will connect the next billion people to the internet

Nokia is putting its money on the next big trend in the mobile phone market. It's not smartphones, says the company, but mobile phones for the emerging market that will drive the next handset revolution.

"More people will join the information age using a mobile phone than a PC," revealed Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive vice president for Mobile Phones during her keynote at Nokia World on September 15.

"With approximately 80 percent of the world's population in reach of a cell tower, it is the mobile phone that will offer the first PC-like experience for many of the next billion people who will come online."

Nokia might not be far off with its goals "to connect the 'next billion' people to the Internet;" a September 14 report by The Boston Consulting Group suggests that "emerging-market cities represent the single largest commercial growth opportunity globally."

The company used Noka World as a forum to showcase its latest touch and type phone, the Nokia C3 - a device it hopes will stand out in the emerging market thanks to its smartphone-like features and relative affordability.

"New kinds of services and powerful software typically associated with smartphones are becoming more important in the traditional mobile phone space," insisted McDowell.

"We are rolling-out targeted services to meet consumer demand for connectivity, access to information and affordability."

Like Nokia's first touch and type device, the C3 combines a touch screen with the "more familiar" numeric keypad.

The C3 also offers 3G and WLAN connectivity, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, a music player, FM radio, support for up to 32GB of memory, email, and access to applications in the Ovi store.

The C3 is due to make it onto the market by Q4 of 2010 and will be priced at around €145.

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