Asha in Hindi means hope and true to its meaning, Asha feature phones have proved lucky and brought hope for struggling Nokia to revive its fortunes. Asha handsets are popular in faster-growing economies like India and China, and Nokia increased its share of the basic-phone market to 35% last quarter — the highest in two years. Unlike the smartphone division, the basic-phone business is profitable and unit sales are increasing.
Another good news and relief for Nokia is that they are able to sell more than 70 million cheaper handsets each quarter and this will enable them to stem revenue declines and recover from five quarters of losses. Nokia is quite popular in emerging markets like India and China and since Asha range of phones resemble smartphones and cost a fraction of the price, therefor they become automatic choice for first time entry-level buyers of smartphones. Asha range of phones carry almost all the features a smartphone should have like an application portal to download apps, a touch interface, social-networking integration — so these devices are completely like a smartphone. Nokia’s Asha 305 and 311 models are most popular among the buyers and are selling in good numbers.
Besides feature phones, Nokia is also doing well in Windows smartphone segment if the latest data released by some reputed analysts are to be believed. As reported by Taiwanese websites Digitimes, Nokia has cemented itself as the world’s largest Windows Phone manufacturer, accounting for 59% of all Windows Phone devices seen in July, according to mobile application research firm Localytics.
In January 2012, Nokia’s share of global Windows Phone market stood just at 22% compared to 23% held by Samsung Electronics, Localytics said, adding that Nokia managed to ramp up the ratio to 50% in May and further to 59% in July. Nokia has also quickly taken large chunks of the US Windows Phone market, rising from 9% in February to 23% in April and to 32% in July. In comparison, HTC and Samsung Electronics took 36% and 26%, respectively, of Windows Phone-powered devices in use in the United States in July, Localytics added.
Nokia can heave a sigh of relief with above figures and hope they will get more success with their upcoming new smartphone on Windows 8 platform. As blogged earlier, they should consider smartphones on Android platforms and then they can make life extremely difficult for some established Android smartphones players as Nokia’s hardware is far far supeior.