A few weeks ago I won a Nokia N79 from a raffle from Nokia. Having really wanted the semi-brand new E71 in its stead, I bargained for a swap since the latter was a tad cheaper in price mainly due to an earlier release date. The E71 is a fantastic QWERTY business device and my one and I guess biggest complaint is the dropping of support for BlackBerry Connect. If this is a software issue, I hope Nokia can release a firmware upgrade in the future so it can support both Intellisync and BlackBerry Connect.
A few weeks after the E71’s release, Nokia announces a lower end enterprise phone – the Nokia E63 which is basically the same in most respects except for its slightly less conservative form factor. As seen above, the Nokia E63 resembles much of the E71 and is in fact cheaper by a mile – only P14,200 whereas the E71 retails between P19,500 to P22,000. The main difference between the two is really more on the form factor and “lower end” 2.0MP camera – which is really relative as the E71 comes with a 3.2MP camera.
Who said cheaper meant worse specs? The E63 comes with support for 3.5mm headsets while my E71 supports 2.5mm connectivity – I’d need to use an adapter to use regular earphones. Bluetooth, WiFi, Share on Ovi, a really good browser, and fast UI make this phone a definite winner if you don’t need HSDPA! More specs available here.
The Nokia E63 is available NOW for only P14,200. This is the most affordable mass market enterprise level phone of Nokia and I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t consider it for Christmas.
This is not the first time we’ve seen interesting partnerships between banks and technology companies. Back then, Blizzard released the World of Warcraft VISA card that allows rebates to additional gaming hours. Not a bad deal if you’re really into WoW. But perhaps, for the rest of us, the new offer from Nokia might seem more tempting.
Our mobile phone load purchases and post paid bills are as good as cash in my opinion. Instead of charging your credit card to additional air miles or gas, why not charge it to earn rebates for your prepaid load or post paid bills? So I was really excited (and curious) to see the Nokia VISA card booth at a Standard Chartered fabrication at the Alabang Town Center. If you want to check the full press release, head over here.
The card is not exclusive to Nokia users. Anyone can apply for the credit card, subject to the screening process set forth by Standard Chartered Bank. The co-branding arrangement between Nokia and Standard Chartered VISA will help promote the use of mobile phones by offering cash rebates on both pre-paid and post-paid transactions. Key features of the credit card include:
10% cash rebate on prepaid load transactions
5% cash rebate on postpaid mobile phone bills
0.5% cash rebate on all non-installment purchases charged to the credit card
Wow! That’s pretty significant – even for post paid subscribers. If you spend P30,000 a year on your post-paid plan and charge it to your Nokia card, that’s still a P1,500.00 rebate at the end of the year! Not sure how that would work on prepaid transactions though — does the “Passa Load” system support credit card transactions?
Nonetheless, if you think the rebates are cool enough, the Nokia Best Deals Program allows 0% transactions all year round using the Nokia credit card. This means that you can avail of any Nokia phone under 0% interest all year round! [warning] Although there really is some form of mark up when it comes to 0% interest, it still makes it easy for anyone to buy a Nokia phone if you’re fond of the “tingi” method. [/warning] Pretty cool, huh?
Consumers can purchase a Nokia phone in 3 simple ways:
1. by charging the full amount of the phone to the Nokia Standard Chartered Card, whether as a straight charge or through the 0% interest rate installment plan
2. by using their cash rebates via the Full Redemption option
3. by using their cash rebates for a portion of the purchase price and charging the remaining balance to the credit card via the Fast Track option
Looking at this new product from Nokia makes me realize their strong brand equity. It takes a highly reputable company with a high enough .. pardon the term .. “fanbase” to allow such promos to happen. So next time you think about charging your credit card to earn miles, think about charging it to earn.. load or a phone! 🙂
A few days ago I reviewed the most advanced XpressMusic phone from Nokia, the 5800 XpressMusic phone. Today, we reveal the Finn’s cheapest XpressMusic phone, the 5130 which is due on shelves early next year.
With dedicated music keys, a digital music player, FM radio and a standard 3.5 mm connector for headphones, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is Nokia’s most affordable music phone to date. Equipped with an integrated 2 megapixel camera, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic also supports image sharing through Share on Ovi, as well as the Mail on Ovi email service. The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2009 with an estimated retail price of 90 EUR. [source]
Due out in early 2009, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic phone comes with a new feature called Mail on Ovi. As S40 phones aren’t as powerful in terms of their software to access Share on Ovi tools, Nokia chopped some of the features and “widgetized” them to fit S40 phones (the more powerful Nseries phones use S60), thus explaining how S40 differentiates from S60 – simpler but less powerful.
Not all phones are created equal, especially when it comes to finding device drivers for the Macintosh. If you’re running a Sony Ericsson or Nokia phone you may have an easier time finding licensed plugins to sync your phone with Apple’s iSync app.
If you’re on a Nokia, all you need to do is head on over to their corporate website and download the appropriate device driver that unpacks to iSync depending on your phone’s brand. It’s really easy to install. If the phone isn’t listed, you will need to wait a few days. Nokia always releases a new update whenever a new phone is released.
However if you own other brands and want to use a third party sync tool, you can check out Mactomster. This iSync plugin also supports a number of S40 phones from Nokia. Here is a list of devices they support, taken from their site:
Phones come cheap because the price of the unit is subsidized by the telco (they make up with the monthly plans). In the same light, digital music will now come free (hopefully!) because the cost will be subsidized by the price of the phone.
Reuters has an interestingly new article on the Nokia’s new Comes with Music offering (apart from their new touch screen phone):
I heard about Nokia’s Comes with Music plans during a dinner meet up with some of the online tech media a few months ago. Not a lot of details were released but the plan to go for a subscription-based model isn’t new. It just hasn’t been implemented on a wide scale yet (the only guys I know doing this is the Microsoft Zune online community for a price of a CD a month – unlimited song downloads!).
Nokia’s package will differ from others on the market as users can keep all the music they have downloaded during the 12 month subscription period. There are no charges for tracks downloaded, since the cost is bundled to the phone price.
“‘Comes with Music’ could potentially bring free music to millions of consumers, radically changing the music industry, and offering a significant threat to Apple’s dominance,” Strategy Analytics’ David MacQueen said in a research report.
“In a market where price and selection are so much more important than brand to consumers, Apple cannot count on retaining users when competing with an offering which seems free to the end user,” MacQueen said.
I think it’s come to that point where everyone in the market already has a phone, and changing mobiles every 3 months is turning to be a logistical nightmare. So even if Nokia has still been steady with the phones, entering these new avenues (games, music, maps, photo sharing) via Ovi will definitely peak interest.
What I really want to say is filled with irony: The key to keeping your customers is to not make anything exclusive. This isn’t the 1970’s anymore. Great job to Nokia for going pro-consumer!