Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is working on its boosting its global presence as it works on spurring growth in African, Asian, and South American markets. On Tuesday, Microsoft said that it was introducing two connected feature phones that will help them to connect with the world. This is part of Microsoft’s plan to key into emerging markets for sales and growth in response to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) plan to push Android 1 via Infinix to African markets.
Microsoft launched the Nokia 222 and Nokia 222 Dual SIM. They are web surfing feature phones through which users can browse through their favorite sites using the Opera Mini Browser, or explore what the rest of the Web has to offer using Bing Search. The phones come with a 2-megapixel camera, FM radio and built-in MP3 player and it supports MicroSD cards of up to 32 GB.
The specs appear to be modest, but they are decent offerings in a feature phone. The phone have in built Twitter, Facebook, GroupMe by Skype and Messenger Apps. They might look like toys to buyers in America or Europe but the $37 asking price will be a hit in EM where iPhones, Samsungs and BlackBerry are beyond the price reach of most of the population.
Microsoft and Google are already eyeing emerging markets
Last week, Google made a move to take a new market from Apple. It was reported that nailed the key to making money from “poor” African and Asian countries while Apple is still ignores 90% of the market because they can’t afford its phone. Google said that it was planning to launch a low-priced $87 smartphone in six African countries.
It is no longer news that the developed markets are becoming mature and that smartphone makers are looking to the markets of India and Africa for growth. Now, both Google and Microsoft seems to know that the key to taking Africa is from the price front.
Yet, it appears that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is prepared to go all the way to take over the EMs of Africa. Microsoft’s $37 feature phone (not a smartphone) is about 135% cheaper than Google’s upcoming $87 smartphone.
Microsoft might win this race
It can be argued that Microsoft’s $37 feature phone is no match for Google’s “smartphone”. However, except for the fact that Google’s phone will be able to use Android apps, it won’t have much of a edge over Microsoft’s Nokia 222.
As long as people who can’t afford an iPhone can access Facebook and browse the web, it won’t matter much if its done from a Nokia 222 or an Android-powered “smartphone”.