Nokia is gunning for BlackBerry market share with a major campaign promoting the Nokia E72 business smartphone as the handset of choice for working women.
The campaign is part of Nokia’s wider aim to build its share in the enterprise market, with RIM’s market share a central target.
BlackBerry has seen major growth among non-enterprise customers buying business-oriented devices over the past year. According to recent figures, around half of all BlackBerry consumers are now non-enterprise, largely driven by the Pearl and Curve’s success in the business-consumer hybrid area.
Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd said Nokia and BlackBerry both recognise the need to serve a hybrid consumer-business market. ‘They have realised that splitting consumer versus business doesn’t make sense.
‘It is clear that professional users have a specific set of needs but they also have consumer needs too. Nokia and RIM have both addressed that, developing devices such as the E72 and the Curve that target both sectors.’
Nokia’s campaign, ‘E72 In Action’, will see Karren Brady, former MD of Birmingham City Football Club, and Savannah Miller, sister of Sienna Miller and founder of fashion label, Twenty8Twelve, acting as ‘Nokia ambassadors’, promoting the E72 smartphone via Twitter, Facebook and on Nokia’s website.
Two years ago, Nokia cut its ties with RIM, ditching the BlackBerry Connect application on its Eseries range.
Industry analysts said it was a mark of how much of a threat RIM had become to Nokia.
The E72 smartphone is similar to its predecessor, the E71, with a QWERTY keyboard and email capabilities. It also has instant messaging functions and will come with a built-in widget for Ovi services.
Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight, said the campaign reveals the growing importance of women to the smartphone market. ‘Our research shows that women are very significant users of social networking. Yet the male-dominated mobile phone industry has done a very poor job of marketing to women so far in terms of handsets, designs and propositions. It is about more than pink plastic.
‘However, RIM has been very successful in targeting women. Their breakthrough came with the Blackberry Pearl, which made what had been a very masculine tool much more accessible to women.’