by Muyiwa Matuluko
Microsoft recently announced the Nokia 215 – a new addition to the Series 30+ family. It has all the whistle bells of a wannabe smartphone – mp3 playback, FM Radio, flash-light, expandable memory , Facebook, Twitter and even push notifications- plus, it has amazing battery standby of 30 days. But it’s missing one key feature. WhatsApp
I personally could see myself getting the Nokia 215 as cheap alternative internet device. I don’t have to worry about data costs and battery life – the two biggest problems every smartphone user has to surmount. The Nokia 215 is this close to be the perfect “hustler device”. If only it came with WhatsApp. That, in my opinion, is a deal breaker. And I suspect it most everyone’s deal breaker.
Considering the target market – regions like Africa and the Middle East, where the average consumer tends to save more on voice call rates by depending on light-weight, over-the-top messaging services like WhatsApp – it really is a big deal that the Nokia 215 lacks this feature. WhatsApp is so important in such regions that even local telcos offer custom data bundles to enable their subscribers get on WhatsApp. Let’s not forget WhatsApp – a 600 million (and counting) user-base service – is a pretty big deal to Facebook, the world’s largest social network. So much so they acquired it for almost $22 billion. That’s got to count for something.
It’s a terrible omission by
Nokia Microsoft, to say the least. I am of the opinion that this could prove quite pivotal to the success of the device in this region. But I don’t imagine it’s a situation too hard to fix. If Nokia Microsoft could get WhatsApp to commit to the Asha series platform, they can do the same for the Series 30+ range of devices. One hopes it would be sooner than later.