Nokia is building partnerships with service providers in Pakistan in order to offer specific services, and is focusing on imparting training to local developers to help devise content for the domestic market, according to a top official of the company.
“Nokia Ovi store for Pakistan is a good example of working with local support,” said Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop, while talking to the media in Dubai on his first visit to the region recently.
Ovi is an applications and services storefront where customers can visit online through their Nokia device browser to begin downloading and personalising their handset with applications, games, videos, productivity tools, web and location-based services.
He said Nokia users can purchase applications from Ovi store via credit card only. However, unlike other countries where customers need to purchase either in dollars or euros, for Pakistan, applications available on Ovi store can be bought in rupees at affordable rates.
Elop said that in order to attract new customers, cellphones are now being packaged with applications that focus on the local market, such as applications for different news sources in Pakistan like Namaz.me and the recently-launched Pakistan Day theme.
The Finnish mobile phone giant is also expected to increase investments and boost presence in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region.
Elop said that the MEA region was one of the significant growth areas and Nokia held a strong position in this market. “Regions with disproportionate growth attract a disproportionate amount of spending and the MEA region is a good example,” he said, declining to comment on how much the company would actually invest.
Pakistan, which falls in the MEA region, currently has a portfolio that focuses on devices that range from $200 and below. According to Nokia Pakistan, eight of 10 cellphones used in the country are of Nokia.
As differences between feature phones and smartphones diminish gradually, Nokia is working on bringing the smartphone experience in much affordable prices, Elop said.
Speaking on the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, he said that the company was focused on investing in what came next and that was important to take the leadership mindset to stay ahead in the market.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2011.
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