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Nokia launches ‘Asha 501’ at $99

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Nokia launched the latest Smartphone on its Asha series ‘ The Asha 501’ on 9th May 2013 in presence of the company’s global chief executive officer (CEO) Stephen Elop in New Delhi, India. The phone is priced at USD 99 (around Rs 5,350) excluding taxes. The device, which will be built in India, will roll out to 90 countries by next month as per the company.

Finnish company Nokia, which has lost market share to iPhone and Samsung, has concentrated a major part of its business in India, its biggest market after China, to revive sales of cheaper mobile phones. India is a wide user of Nokia phones. “India is very important. It is the bellwether market that is very leading indicator of some of the trend. It 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 told reporters.

The touch screen mobile ‘Asha 501’ is with internet capability and uses a new software that allows users to multitask between built in applications for popular social media sites. It allows the customers to use Facebook completely free of cost since the company have a contract with this social media site to provide free usage facility to its Indian and African customers. Its deal with Facebook and mobile operator Bharti Airtel allows Asha 501 users in India and Africa to access their social networking account without paying any data charges.

Asha 501 is a dual SIM phone with 17 hours of talk time facility on single SIM use and 48 days of standby time. The device comes with Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which compresses Internet data by up to 90 percent, free 4GB external memory, in-built chipset of less than 1 Ghz processing speed and a 3.2 megapixel camera.

Nokia India Managing Director and Vice President P Balaji intimated that the company has decided to manufacture Nokia Asha 501 at its Chennai factory to meet local needs as well as exporting to other countries.

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