Nokia Shows off New Family of Low-Cost Touchscreen Phones
Nokia today unveiled the first of a new family of Asha smartphones with the introduction of the Nokia Asha 501.
The Nokia Asha 501 comes with a simple swipe and a choice of two main screens: Home and Fastlane. Home is a traditional, icon-based view for launching individual apps or accessing a specific feature, like the dialler or phone settings. The new Fastlane view was inspired by how people really use their phone. Recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps, unique to each person, are stored and presented in Fastlane.
The Asha 501 is also the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform, which leverages Nokia’s investments in Smarterphone, a company that Nokia acquired in 2012.
The phone is expected to retail for US$99 before taxes and subsidies.
The new Asha platform provides developers with an open, standards-based environment for creating mobile apps. Developers are promised that apps developed for the Asha 501 will be compatible with future Asha platform-based devices.
Nokia’s location-based platform, “Here” will also be available as a download for the Nokia Asha 501, starting in Q3 2013 and will initially include basic mapping services.
“The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimization,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. The Nokia Asha 501 is expected to start shipping in June 2013. It is expected to be available through approximately 60 operators and distributors in more than 90 countries worldwide.