The Core 77 design blog has a good piece on how Nokia has been competing successfully in emerging markets. The Nokia 1100 – launched in 2003 – has now racked up 200m sales. (The iPod is running at 100m).

Nokia 1100

They pull out three reasons:

  1. the ‘law’ of big numbers: the margins may be low, but that doesn’t matter so much when you get single orders worth $2.5bln (yes, billion), as they have from China
  2. Design it for the market you’re selling it to. Good phone sharing features may be more useful than megapixels. Having a design studio in Bangalore probably helps.
  3. Get the marketing right. Nokia has been going on the road (and the tracks) in branded vans and even railway carriages to talk to potential customers when and where they have time to talk.

If the Core 77 piece is right, Nokia seem to have been quick to learn the ‘bottom of the pyramid‘ lessons articulated by CK Prahalad.

Related post: Nokia and the ‘eco-sensor’ phone