So Nokia finally released their first dual-SIM phone in the Philippines, the Nokia C1-00. It’s a pretty basic phone but one that challenges the strong presence of local dual-SIM phone brands in the country.
There are at least 3 local phone brands that are competing in the dual-SIM and triple-SIM market — Cherry Mobile, Torque and MyPhone. That does not include the SG-based Verzio that came into the Philippines back in 2007.
Nokia C1-00 owners will also benefit from a large phonebook that can store up to 500 entries, a multi-phonebook for up to 5 users, a large memory enough to store 250 messages, standby battery time of up to six weeks with up to 13 hours talk time, the longest ever for a Nokia mobile phone.
For good measure, Nokia added a Flashlight feature and built-in FM radio tuner.
In my previous interview with Nokia executives in SG a few months back, they claim it’s not too late to enter the dual-SIM market. And while the target market does not really draw that much margins, the only approach is to generate tons of sales of these cheap phones.
I read somewhere (a year ago) that Torque was selling over 20,000 units a month while another source tells me Cherry Mobile sells close to 100,00 units per month. If you bring in the numbers from MyPhone and the other China-phones, that’s a huge volume.
Nokia has the trusted brand, network and resources to penetrate this market. The question is, will they also dominate it the same way they dominated the other segments of the mobile market? Only time will tell.
The Nokia C1-00 has a suggested retail price of Php2,070 and is available in red or medium blue at all Nokia Stores and authorized distributors nationwide.