What Is Important in the Financial World

med423074A $100 Nokia Smartphone

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has released a smartphone that costs the consumer less than $100 - the Nokia Asha 501. The cellular phone firm has made this decision for what could be only one reason: the emergence of wireless devices in emerging markets. Many of these places have never had consumer landlines, which have become legacy businesses in the United States and Europe as people have moved to products that run over wireless broadband. Nokia announced:

The new Nokia Asha 501 was purpose-built to give people the best possible mobile experiences at an affordable price. It is highly efficient, with an industry-leading standby time of up to 48 days*. The Asha 501 is the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform, which leverages Nokia's investments in Smarterphone, a company which Nokia acquired in 2012.

The new Asha platform provides developers with an open, standards-based environment for creating quality apps for consumers. Developers can create apps for the Nokia Asha 501 that will be compatible with future Asha platform-based devices. Nokia gives developers the chance to make more money through the global reach of Nokia Store and tools like Nokia In-App Payment and Nokia Advertising Exchange (NAX), as well as Nokia's unparalleled operator billing network.

China's Cost of Food

Inflation problems continue to plague China, in large part because of the cost of food. That means one essential cut into discretionary income. And, in turn, the chances that China's growth can be driven by its new middle class lessens somewhat. Otherwise, Chinese price increases have remained moderate, perhaps because a worldwide recession has undercut demand for its factory goods. The Xinhua news agency reports on China's inflation in April:

China's consumer inflation slightly accelerated in April, but still within a mild range that leaves room for policymakers to fine-tune policies to support the tepid economic recovery, official data showed Thursday.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 2.4 percent year on year in April, up from 2.1 percent in March but well below the year's control target of 3.5 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The rise is largely in line with the market forecast of around 2.3 percent.

The NBS attributed the gain mainly to an unusual increase in vegetable prices during that month as low temperatures and scarce rainfalls disrupted supplies.

In April, food prices, which account for nearly one-third of weighting in China's CPI, increased 4 percent year on year, with the prices of vegetables rising 5.9 percent, NBS data showed.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices in April edged up 0.2 percent.

Something New from Apple?

Perhaps Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will attempt to launch a blockbuster product soon. After months of worry that its suppliers in Asia have been idle, one of these companies has rushed to add workers. Reuters said about the workforce at one Apple supplier:

Pegatron Corp, an assembler of Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad, said it would increase its number of workers in China by up to 40 percent in the second half of the year, fuelling market speculation of a new cheaper iPhone.
Pegatron currently employs 100,000 workers.

Suppliers have told Reuters that Apple is developing a cheaper model of the phone, broadening its sales base to lower-income buyers in growth markets such as China and India.

A supplier source in Japan said small-scale production of the display panel for the model would begin in May, ramping up to mass production in June.

Apple is widely expected to launch the cheaper version of the iPhone in the third quarter.


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: AAPL, featured, NOK

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