On Your Bike, Says Nokia, And Take This Phone Charger With You
In an effort to expand its mobile market and put its technology into the hands of those who don't have easy access to a 120v power outlet or automobile power point, Nokia has developed a new line of phones and chargers, which can be attached to a pedal bike for both ease of charging and the smugness that comes with using green power.
Texting while driving is dangerous, since it could kill both the offending driver and damage other people and cars on the road. Doing the same while pedal biking would more likely be hilarious, with our communications-committed biker hopefully going head-over-pedals into a large pile of trash or something else equally movie-worthy.
Swedish phone manufacturer Nokia, who since 1998 has been the leading producer of mobile devices, has decided to bring its phones to places with limited electrical supply by introducing a line bike chargers that come complete with a charger, dynamo, and holder to keep things in place on the bike. Ideally, the company hopes riders will simply let their phone charge and stay off of the airwaves. Both hands on the handlebars, gentlemen!
The chargers will only operate when the bike is going faster than 3mph and slower than 30mph, but if you can get your bike up to 30mph on a regular basis, you'll probably be home before you need to make a phone call, so it shouldn't be a problem.
At this point, Nokia says that the charger kits will start at around $18 in the US, but will cost more in other parts of the world. The C1-00, the first in their new mobile line, will go for $36.
This is all part of a plan to capture a new and emerging market, while fending off companyies like Apple, RIM and Google. Nokia hopes to bring mobile service to places that have historically found it difficult if not impossible to use, in part because of the lack of reliable electricity.
The new C1-00, in addition to the ability to be charged by bike, will also feature a six-week battery life, a flashlight, and an FM radio. This will theoretically give users in developing countries a reason to shell out the unspecified amount that it will cost once converted into dollar amounts other than USD and Euros.
So long as the charger doesn't take an inordinate amount of time and the dynamo can stand up to fairly rigorous use, these should do well, even in existing markets that are undergoing a shift toward more green-friendly and "off-the-grid" power solutions.
Although having a cell phone still makes you grid-visible, and the price tag may be too steep for countries where the population has little disposable income, good on Nokia for trying something new.
No word yet on whether unicycle charging will be supported.
Clowns - it's an untapped market, Nokia. Just sayin'.