That Nokia gives lot of importance to Indian market was evident at the mega launch event in New Delhi where top management of Nokia was present and its CEO- Stephen Elop unveiled the Asha 501 smartphone, priced at US $ 99. This phone will be available in June and its Indian price has not been disclosed but we estimate that it will be priced around Rs. 5500/-. It will be available in six colours – Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, Yellow, White and Black. The Asha 501 will be available in both single SIM and dual-SIM variants.The phone will be launched via 60 operators in 90 countries.
The Asha 501 has a 3-inch QVGA TFT capacitive display and a single ‘back’ button. This is the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform, which leverages Nokia’s investments in Smarterphone, a company which Nokia acquired in 2012. This phone will feature a 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity and will offer 4GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card.
Nokia has not specified the specifications of the phone battery, but claims that the phone will offer standby time of up to 48 days with single SIM and 26 days with dual-SIM. The phone weighs 98 grams.
Nokia has also tied up with major operators across the globe and Facebook to provide free access to users of Nokia Asha 501 to mobile version of Facebook. This will certainly help Nokia penetrate in markets such as that of India wherein Facebook has greater share of users.
The new Asha comes with Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which compresses Internet data by up to 90%. This is aimed at making mobile browsing faster and more affordable. Nokia also announced the availability of Nokia Xpress Now, a new Web application that recommends content based on location, preferences and trending topics. It will be available via the Browser homepage or as a download from Nokia Store.
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 510 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.
Nokia claims that the the most popular applications are already available or in development for the Nokia Asha platform, including CNN, eBuddy, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, Pictelligent, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat, World of Red Bull and games from Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Indiagames, Namco-Bandai and Reliance Games. WhatsApp and other key partners continue to explore new Asha.
The HERE experience, based on Nokia’s leading location-based platform, will also be available as a download for the Nokia Asha 501, starting in Q3 2013 and will initially include basic mapping services.
Key Features of Nokia Asha 501:
- Available in single or Easy Swap Dual SIM with WiFi and Bluetooth
- Dimensions: 99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm; 98 grams
- Camera: 3.2 MP
- Single SIM standby time: up to 48 days
- Dual SIM standby time: up to 26 days
- Talk time: up to 17 hours
- Additional memory of 4GB (card included in box), expandable up to 32GB
- Forty free EA Games worth €75 downloadable from Nokia Store
- Available colours: Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, Yellow, White and Black
- Suggested pricing is 99 USD before taxes and subsidies.
This is Nokia’s attempt to target this phone to those customers who want to switchover to smartphone from feature phone and who have limited budget. Nokia has a huge potential for this entry-level smartphone in India keeping in view its price range of Rs. 5500 and of course, Nokia still has brand appeal in India.