Nokia launched two dual-SIM mobile phones on Tuesday to combat the growing onslaught of cheap Chinese phones with the option of using dual SIMs.
Nokia’s head of marketing in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Haseeb Ehtisham said that the company plans to launch eight to ten more dual SIM phones in different price ranges from December onwards.
The two phones currently launched are priced at the lower end of the spectrum and it is possible that Nokia is testing to see the response to these phones. However, Nokia officials seemed pretty confident that the two sets introduced will conquer that market.
The dual SIM phones launched by the country’s largest mobile dealer range between Rs3,000 to Rs5,500.
One of the features that Nokia was missing, until now, in comparison to Chinese counterpart was the dual-SIM, a feature demanded by many consumers in the country.
Explaining Nokia’s delay in introducing dual SIM phones in the country, Ehtisham said that reliability and quality were the reasons why it took Nokia so long to bring dual SIM phones to the market.
National security at risk
Nokia officials also bought national security to the fight, arguing that Chinese phones were a threat to the country due to security issues that could arise as they have identical International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers. Phones with duplicate IMEIs are dangerous as they cannot be traced to a single person if there are more than units with the same IMEI registered on the network. This could cause problems for law enforcement, said Burney.
Nokia officials explained that quality of their products will be far superior to their competitors, particularly Chinese phones, and were also under warranty which meant that they would be fixed or replaced.
Nokia’s Country Care Manager Reza Burney pointed out that Nokia had always disapproved of import of Chinese phones that claim to be Nokia but are really just Chinese phones with a Nokia logo appended to them.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2011.