The huge popularity of Asha flagship phones has inspired the
Finnish handset manufacturer,
) to launch Asha 501. The handset is based on a new Asha 1.0
The company will ship the new phone to Thailand and Pakistan from
this week. Asha 501 will reach popular markets like India, Latin
America and Europe later.
The mobile phone is available in both single and dual sim and
features 3.2 MP camera with EDGE EGPRS (2.75G) connectivity. With
17 hours of battery backup, the new phone has Nokia's well-known
enhanced battery life. It also includes all the popular social
network apps. The new phone has an unique second home screen
called Fastlane. It is quite similar to a personal diary and
stores details like birthdays, official meetings, recently
downloaded songs and apps.
Asha 501 is available in six different colors with a
scratch-resistant and tempered glass display. In order to
compete with low-cost Android-based devices, Nokia has kept its
price as low as $99.
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In the recently concluded first quarter, Nokia shipped 5 million
Asha phones, down 46.2% sequentially. Thus, to boost its Asha
flagship sales the company has launched such advanced Asha
Moreover, China, India and Latin America have been strong markets
for Nokia and lately, the company has seen its Asha sales grow in
these regions. Low per capita income and increased wireless
Internet usage have mainly contributed to the healthy sales.
Launching the phone in these markets is a strategic move by the
company to capture the growing middle class market, where
customers still prefer low budget feature-rich phones.
In the last couple of years, Nokia has fallen behind in the
smartphone leadership race, which has been mainly dominated by
) iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy range, which runs on
) Android platform. In fiscal 2012, Samsung and Apple together
sold more than 300 million smartphones as compared to Nokia's 35
So to recoup its market share, Nokia has teamed up with
) to offer Windows-based Lumia series of smartphones. Nokia
sold nearly 5.6 million Lumia phones in the first quarter of
2013, up 27% sequentially. Hence, we believe that the company
will gradually improve its handset business by targeting both the
markets (high and low-end markets), which includes both its
smartphone and feature phone market.
Nokia currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).