$99 Nokia Asha 501 Unveiled

Nokia continues to churn out cheap smartphones in an effort to reclaim the low-cost mobile phone market it once dominated. The Finnish phone company has launched the Nokia Asha 501, a cheap touch-screen model for India and other emerging markets. And by cheap, I mean $99 cheap.

The company has also introduced its new Asha platform, which runs on the 501. Nokia has said the Asha mobile platform is designed to allow wider access to developers of apps. It also gives a fresh push in the war for the dominant mobile operating system, even though Nokia has not been able to attract developers to create native applications.

Nokia, known for its line of low-priced mobile phones, faces competition from Chinese and Indian phone makers. India’s Micromax Informatics, for instance, sells a smartphone that costs only $65.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has stated that, given how smartphones below $100 remain relevant in the market, has good hopes that the Nokia Asha 501 would bring in good sales for his company. “The Asha 501 and Asha platform we believe will reinvent the affordable smartphone category,” Mr. Elop said during the phone’s launch event in New Delhi.

The Nokia Asha 501 features a three-inch colored touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, dual-SIM capability, and a memory capacity of 4GB that can be expanded to 32GB via microSD card.

The company will begin selling its $99 smartphone as early as June.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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