Nokia will launch its new sub-£100 Asha smartphone into the UK in the third quarter of this year, the company has revealed.
The Asha 501 is the first device in an updated range of Asha smartphones. It uses a newly designed platform, which Nokia has adapted from Smartphone, which the Finnish phone maker bought in 2012.
Suggested pricing for the device is $99 (£63.57) and the device will be available in single and dual-sim models in six colours. Among the features on the three inch screen device are Fastlane, a display based on how a consumer uses a device and lists recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps. It also uses Nokia's Xpress browser, which the manufacturer said compresses data by up to 90%. It will also roll out its Here mapping services to the handset during the third quarter of this year.
Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president for mobile phones at Nokia, said: 'The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimisation. The synergy between the physical design and the engine that is the new Asha platform has created a smartphone with both style and substance at a great price.'
CCS Insight's Martin Garner said: 'The Asha 501 highlights Nokia's new approach to its Asha series - putting itself in head to head competition with Android in the sub $100 price tier. While the Asha 501 nicely wraps up the best of Nokia’s differentiators from strong imaging, maps and music, long battery life to low-cost browsing and dual SIM capability, it remains to be seen how it will fare against stiff competition from a well-established Android market.
'Nokia is also trying to position its Series 40 phone operating system as a smartphone platform, in order to compete better with Android. Essentially this is a re-branding exercise rather than anything fundamentally new, but this also comes with risks. Nokia is positioning Asha alongside Android in those price tiers, and inviting comparison on the range and quality of apps. As a result, it will be under pressure to catch up with the range of apps offered on lower-end Android phones.'
Author: Graeme Neill