New Delhi: With about 60% of new mobile phone users in the next three years expected to come from rural India, service providers and handset makers are now focusing on this potentially lucrative market. And market leader Nokia has launched a range of low-cost devices, starting at about Rs1,500. But will it succeed in a price-sensitive market like India? ”Price alone is not the answer to every single request. If you look at India, the price leader is not the market leader in every category. What’s important is people are willing to pay a premium for the brand. Nokia has read that carefully. It’s never been the cheapest. It’s unlikely we’ll ever be the cheapest”, says D. Shivakumar, VP, Nokia India.
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Out of about 325 million mobile subscribers in India, 82 million are from rural areas. And every month around 10 million new subscribers are added. The government had set a target of 500 million mobile subscriptions by 2010, which it hopes will be achieved ahead of time.