New Delhi: Expanding its low-cost smartphone series, Nokia on Thursday globally launched Asha 501 touchscreen model which will be available in the market by June at around USD 99 excluding taxes.
"We will deliver Asha 501 in June to millions of people," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told reporters.
Asha 501 is the first device to run on the new Asha platform and the company chose India to launch the device globally.
"India is very important. It is the bellwether market that is very leading indicator of some of the trend...some of the new is very symbolic that we are not launching this from certain other countries, from Finland, London or the US. We are launching it here in India because so much of our work is focussed on Indian consumers," Elop said.
The device comes with Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which compresses Internet data by up to 90 percent.
"Asha 501 is the next generation of Asha smartphones...We have created new Asha platform. 80 percent of world operates in 2G environment and Asha 501 is customised to suit 2G environment. We will expand this family with 3G products as well," Elop added.
Elop said 60 operators in 90 countries have committed to selling Asha smartphones. "The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimisation," Nokia Executive Vice President (Mobile Phones) Timo Toikkanen said.
The device, which is available in single and dual SIM models, comes with WiFi and bluetooth. It can give 17 hours of talk time and 48 days of standby time.
It has a 3.2 MP camera and comes in six colours. Nokia is eyeing a major share in the smartphone market in India and is seeking to strengthen the smartphone portfolio as it faces tough competition from global rivals Samsung and Apple.
Despite India being second biggest market for Nokia, after China, the company has posted 23 percent dip in revenue from Euro 2,923 million at the end of 2011.
Among various risk factors to its revenue, the company admitted that there was a stiff competition in the country's mobile handset market.


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