Mobile and Wireless: Nokia Asha Touch Feature Phones Are Young at Heart, Nearly Smart
Nokia has a two-pronged plan for restoring its former glory. The first part involves helping the world's next billion (mostly young) people to get online, using affordable but feature-rich feature phones. The second part is to remind the world that it can also compete at the highest end of the market, which Nokia is doing with its Lumia line powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. While Europe could perhaps use the gentle reminder, in the United Stateswhere Nokia never established much of a stronghold, even during its 14-year reign as the world's largest mobile phone seller, a reign recently ended by Samsunggrowing its smartphone base will require more of an introduction and courtship. Nokia began that courtship with the $100 Lumia 900. As for those billion new users, most of them in developing markets, Nokia, from Thailand June 6, introduced three new Asha feature phones that push at such a definition. Featuring 3-inch touch displays, games from Electronic Arts, Nokia's cloud-enhanced browser and in some cases WiFi and 3G, they're an advancement over earlier Nokia feature phones, and may help Nokia in its market-share tug of war with Research In Motion, which likewise sees potential in the Internet's newest users.