We’ve blogged before about how mobile phones have an image problem. Scare stories over radiation emissions from handsets are largely to blame. And the advent of text speak and the supposedly irreparable damage it is wreaking on the English language hasn't helped either.
But in the form of Nokia’s Life Tools service, mobiles could at last be due some sort of rehabilitation. Life Tools enables farmers in developing countries to access information on crop prices, thus helping them to secure a more equitable deal when they sell their wares. And, better yet, the service also offers a simple-to-follow guide to learning English and exam revision guides – both of which could bring real benefits to rural communities in the oft-forgotten and neglected corners of the globe.
Of course, the cynics among you will note that Nokia isn’t a charity and stands to gain hugely from the service. Not least since it will make its phones more desirable to the burgeoning handset market in developing countries. But the favourable response that Life Tools has had from the communities it will serve suggests that the benefit it will bring is far from one-way.
Whether the service will do much to improve mobile phones’ tarnished image is uncertain. But coupled with moves to make phones greener, it’s got to help a bit.
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