) has strengthened its low-end smartphone range by unveiling the
new dual SIM Asha 310, which supports Wi-Fi - the first such
combination from the company's stable. Good performance from the
Asha series in the recently concluded quarter is increasing
Nokia's dependence on its low-end smartphone version.
The Finnish handset manufacturer has introduced its Easy Swap
Dual SIM technology, which allows the customers to use the
external card slot to insert a secondary SIM, in addition to the
original one placed behind the battery. Significantly the latest
technology allows users to store profiles for up to five SIM
cards and they can easily switch between the carriers of their
The budget phones have features like - 3 inch screen, a 2 mega
pixel camera, a 4GB internal memory card, which is expandable
upto 32 GB and is pre loaded with Nokia Xpress browser.
Nokia faced a lackluster 2012, as the company lost its title
as the world's largest cell phone manufacturer to Samsung
Electronics. Amid stiff competition from
) Android and
) iOS-based phones, the company also lost its smartphone
However, the company's decision to join hands with
) is finally paying dividends. The latest Lumia 920 and Lumia 820
have performed better than its predecessors. Nokia sold 4.4
million Lumia and 9.3 million Asha smartphones, marking a
sequential increase of 43% and 52% respectively.
Although Lumia is taking the lion's share of the credit for
the improved show from the Finnish handset manufacturer, we
believe Asha's encouraging sales figures act as a backup support
for Nokia, while it continues to aggressively market
According to research firm IDC, low cost smartphones are
expected to remain a key growth engine for handset manufacturers
as prices fall further, based on ever declining chipset prices
and increased competition.
Historically, China, India and Latin America have been strong
markets for Nokia and of late the company has seen its Asha sales
grow in those regions. Low per capita income and increased
wireless Internet usage have mainly contributed to the inspiring
show in those countries. Launching the phone in this market is a
strategic move by the company to capture the growing middle class
market, where customers still prefer low budget feature-rich
Nokia currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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