As we saw with the launch of Microsoft's Kin One and Kin Two
, it's not always about the smartphone
. There are plenty of other consumers out there who don't need an advanced mobile phone, and having one that makes calls, keeps track of a few contacts and sends the occasional SMS is good enough. Nokia knows that better than anyone, with their phones still dominating the worldwide market share pictures thanks to their ability to get loads of low-end phones into developing nations.
Today, the company introduced three new handsets: the C3, C6, and E5. All were designed to put better messaging and social networking tools in the hands of more people around the world, and they each feature a full QWERTY keyboard and allow for access to e-mail, IM, and social networks. Sounds pretty fancy for a low-end device!
C3 is the first device to bring a full QWERTY keyboard to the world's most popular mobile phone platform in terms of market share (S40), and it also brings social networking right to the home screen. Updating your Facebook and Twitter account is a breeze, and at around 90 Euros without any carrier subsidization, it's fairly affordable. It also ships with Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat, not to mention Wi-Fi, a 2MP camera, 2.4" display and a colorful shell (white, grey and pink are available).
The C6 is a Symbian-based phone with a 3.2" screen, a penchant for accessing the Web, a camera with Autofocus and even built-in navigation; that one will cost around 220 Euros before taxes and subsidies. The E5 messaging phone provides direct access to over 90 percent of the world's corporate email through Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler, and at 180 Euros, it's affordable for just about every businessperson.
Don't expect to see this ship to America, though. With the current subsidy structure, Nokia would have to pay you to own one of these with a 2-year U.S. operator contract.