Nokia augments device range with emerging markets focus

Two new devices have been added to Nokia’s Asha Touch range, a collection of relatively low-cost, mid-tier devices which are largely focussed on emerging markets. The new models are intended to compete with mass-market touch-screen smartphones and feature phones.

The new models are the Asha 308 and 309, 2G handsets which feature Nokia’s latest Xpress Browser for “90 percent more efficient browsing and faster access to rich web applications compared to conventional browsers”, according to the firm. The devices each have a 3.0-inch screen, and support micro-SD cards.

While the 308 is a dual-SIM device, the 309 is single-SIM. The handsets are expected to retail for around US$99, with Nokia claiming that this makes them its “most affordable capacitive touch-screen devices to date”. The entire range of Asha Touch phones has “full smartphone classification from global market research companies and analysts such as GfK and IDC”, according to Nokia.

The vendor has also updated Life, its content service that focuses on emerging markets. The new Life+ service will be available in various markets in Africa and Asia, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. Localised versions of the English-language service will be made available this year in India, China and Indonesia.

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