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Nokia goes vernacular: SMS now is Saral Mobile Sandesh

03-November-2004
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Nokia goes vernacular: SMS now is Saral Mobile Sandesh

Nokia India limited has started the Saral Mobile Sandesh, which is a facility that would enable customers to SMS each other in Hindi with any of the 24 Hindi-enabled models of Nokia phones. The company also has plans to launch new models this season called Communicator 9500 and the Fashion Range 7260, 7270, 7280, confirmed Sanjay Behl, Head of Marketing.

As part of the product localization initiative, Nokia also has plans to regionalize content like introducing the same service in Tamil, Kannada, Bangla and Gujarati. “This will happen in a span of three to four months,” says Behl.

Behl said, “According to a research done by us, we found that Hindi is the mother tongue for 43 per cent of India’s population. The current penetration level of mobiles is between 4 and 4.25 crore. However, we found that the penetration in the Northern belt is far lower. So we are planning to tap the B towns with this initiative.”

“Currently a wide array of Nokia phones support Hindi language User Interface (Hindi Menu), which makes it easier for consumers who are comfortable with Hindi than English to utilize more of the features and functionality of their Nokia mobile phones,” he said.

Elaborating on Nokia’s Saral Mobile Sandesh campaign, Behl said: “We have introduced a 360-degree campaign. There is a TVC, which will go on air from tomorrow other than the print campaigns and the hoardings, POPs etc. But what is more important for us than the TVC, is driving the awareness level by training our retailers and create pamphlets that would educate the consumer.”

“We have come up with a 60-second commercial for the cinema hall and a 40-second commercial for the television,” says Behl. “The idea is to reach out to every consumer across the Hindi speaking belt of India,” he adds.

The company also launched today its Hindi portal, “Mera Nokia”, to provide access to a host of hindi language content including Samachar, Suvichar, Chutkale, Jyothish and wall papers and ringtones. Nokia is partnering with leading service providers to make the content available through SMS and through GPRS. According to ORG Marg-GSK study, between January 04 and May 04, Nokia had a market share of 58.4 per cent while its closest competitior Samsung had 14.7 per cent market share. Motorola projected 14.1 per cent market share and Sony Ericsson projected 7.1 per cent.

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