Phone fashion a high priority in Mideast - Nokia

Region's mobile users change their phone more often than their Western counterparts

Tags: Mobile World CongressNokia Middle East and Africa
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Phone fashion a high priority in Mideast - Nokia Middle East consumers change phones more often than those in Europe says Nokia.
By  Shane McGinley Published  February 18, 2010

Middle Eastern mobile users change their phone more often than Western consumers and are more concerned with changing unit fashions and designs, according to a leading telecom industry executive.

"When it comes to the Middle East it is a very important market," Juha Kokkonen, director of computer solutions at Nokia - the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones - told Arabian Business in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"I think when it comes to Middle Eastern consumers for them how the product looks and [the] design of the product has much higher value than in Western Europe," he added.

Kokkonen also said that, as a result of the focus on unit design and fashion trends, Middle Eastern consumers changed their phone units more regularly than Western users.

Nokia has long been known for its handset designs and covers. However, Kokkonen believes the advent of smartphones has meant that the focus has moved to the screen layout, the interaction with the applications and the personalisation of the phone itself.

"Still I think what your physical product looks like does matter, and it matters more in the Middle East," he reiterated.

However, while external unit fashions are important in the Middle East, Kokkonen does admit that Nokia is increasingly moving away from lavish designs and putting its focus on the internal applications and processes inside smartphones.

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