Aimed at emerging mobile markets, Nokia unveils Asha phones

Phone major Nokia continues its mission to deliver high quality, stylish
devices that provide the best access to social networks, the Internet and
information, and offer the best overall experience and value proposition for
the next billion mobile phone users.

These consumers want access to innovations such as easy-to-use dual-SIM,
local services and content, and third-party apps, all with a superior user
experience for which Nokia mobile phones are known.

These devices comprise the new Asha family of Nokia mobile phones.
Derived from Hindi – meaning ‘hope’ – Asha signifies Nokia’s focus on positive
user experiences and connecting millions of people to new opportunities that
help them reach their aspirations.

The Asha mobile phone family includes Nokia Asha 303, 300, 200 and 201.
Prices depend on model. Nokia is pricing Asha model at EUR 65 to 115.

Having replaced its own Symbian platform with Microsoft’s, this is
essentially a restart for the handset manufacturer, which has struggled to
adjust to the new dynamics of the smartphone market following the launch of the
iPhone in 2007. With Microsoft’s new mobile platform yet to take off and Nokia
banking on Windows Phone it as its primary smartphone platform, the success of
the devices will be critical to the future of both companies. Both companies
therefore have much riding on the outcome of this launch, according to Ovum.

Analyst firm Ovum said that the challenges which Nokia faces are
significant – many potential Windows Phone customers will have already bought
an Android or iPhone and will have some form of attachment to those platforms.
They will have invested in the platforms from a service, financial (via
applications) and a familiarity perspective, and as such Nokia will have a
challenge to convince them to switch to what is a largely unknown, and
therefore risky, alternative. For consumers, they will need to have a clear and
simple answer to the question: -why should I buy this instead of an iPhone or


Considering that Nokia had very little, if
no, input into the Mango release of Windows Phone, the company has done well to
differentiate its devices against those from other Windows Phones licensees.
Nokia has included its Nokia Maps, which provides free offline navigation on
both devices. Additionally, Nokia has brought its experience in imaging with an
f2.2 Carl Zeiss camera which features touch to focus, a function which is
unique to Nokia’s Windows Phone devices.

“Nokia has also brought another of its
assets, Nokia Music to help differentiate the devices. In addition to offering
access to its music catalogue in 38 countries, Nokia will also provide free
access to a Pandora-like radio streaming service which uses the Nokia Music
catalogue. While none of these on their own are standout features, they at
least provide Nokia with some ammunition for its marketing and sales team to
market the devices in an increasingly competitive market,” said Nick Dillon, Ovum Telecoms Analyst, Ovum.

By Team
[email protected]