The New York Times reports on Nokia’s efforts in developing countries. These are the type of projects in which Nokia excels either by design or simply due to the fact that only they expend research efforts in these markets. I find Nokia’s work in these ares far more interesting than the far more visceral updates by other mobile manufacturers. Do these efforts generate real revenue or do they rely on the commercial success of their smartphone line?
In a country where just 7 percent of the population has access to the Internet, such real-time market data is so valuable that the farmers are willing to pay $1.35 a month for the information.
What is unusual about the service is the company selling it: Nokia, the Finnish cellphone maker, which unlike its rivals — Samsung, LG, Apple, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson — is focusing on some of the world’s poorest consumers.
Since 2009, 6.3 million people have signed up to pay Nokia for commodity data in India, China and Indonesia. On Tuesday, Nokia plans to announce that it is expanding the program, called Life Tools, part of its Ovi mobile services business, to Nigeria.