Nokia Asha 501: the affordable smartphone launched

Espoo,Finland – 9 May 2013 – Nokia today unveiled the first of a new family of Asha smartphones withthe introduction of the Nokia Asha 501. The handset pushes the boundaries ofaffordable smartphone design with bold color, a high-quality build and aninnovative user interface. The Nokia Asha 501 is the first device to run on thenew Asha platform, which is designed to make the experience faster and moreresponsive. The Asha platform also helps developers to create, publish and makemore money from apps made specifically for the new generation of Asha devices.

 

Standoutdesign, innovative user interface  

The Nokia Asha 501 makes high-end design and qualityaccessible to more people. The device is available in a choice of six striking coloursthat complement the elegant design. It comes in just two parts: a durable, removablecasing and the scratch-resistant glass display, which features a three-inch,capacitive touchscreen and a single ‘back’ button. The compact new Asha weighsonly 98 grams, for the ultimate portability. 

 

The Nokia Asha 501 is built to make it easier forpeople to access everything they love, with a simple swipe and a choice of twomain screens: Home and Fastlane. Home is a traditional, icon-based view forlaunching individual apps or accessing a specific feature, like the dialler orphone settings. The new Fastlane view was inspired by how people really usetheir phone. Recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps, unique toeach person, are stored and presented in Fastlane. It provides a record of howthe phone is used, giving people a glimpse of their past, present and futureactivity, and helping them multi-task by providing easy access to their favoritefeatures.

 

Smarterand more personal Internet experiences

The new Asha comes with Nokia Xpress Browserpre-loaded, which compresses Internet data by up to 90%. This is aimed at makingmobile browsing faster and more affordable. Nokia also announced theavailability of Nokia Xpress Now, a new Web application that recommends contentbased on location, preferences and trending topics. It will be available via theBrowser homepage or as a download from Nokia Store.

“Nokia hassurpassed expectations of what’s achievable in the sub-100 USD phone categorywith a new Asha handset that is unlike any other, with design cues from Lumiaand a mix of features, services and affordability that is valued byprice-conscious buyers,” said Neil Mawston, executive director, Global WirelessPractice, Strategy Analytics. “This is a welcome addition to the market and arefreshing option for consumers looking to upgradefrom feature phones.”


Ashaplatform for next-generation family of devices 

The new Nokia Asha 501 was purpose-built to givepeople the best possible mobile experiences at an affordable price. It ishighly efficient, with an industry-leading standby time of up to 48 days*. The NokiaAsha 501 is the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform, whichleverages Nokia’s investments in Smarterphone, a company which Nokia acquiredin 2012.  


The new Asha platform provides developers with anopen, standards-based environment for creating quality apps for consumers. Developerscan create apps for the Nokia Asha 501 that will be compatible with future Ashaplatform-based devices. Nokia gives developers the chance to make more moneythrough the global reach of Nokia Store and tools like Nokia In-App Payment andNokia Advertising Exchange (NAX), as well as Nokia’s unparalleled operatorbilling network.

 

Manyof the most popular applications are already available or in development forthe Nokia Asha platform, including CNN, eBuddy, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare,Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, Pictelligent, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat,World of Red Bull and games from Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Indiagames, Namco Bandaiand Reliance Games. WhatsApp and other key partners continue to explore newAsha.

The HERE experience, based on Nokia’s leadinglocation-based platform, will also be available as a download for the Nokia Asha 501, starting in Q32013 and will initially include basic mapping services.

 

“The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what ispossible in affordable smartphone design and optimization,” said TimoToikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “The synergy betweenthe physical design and the engine that is the new Asha platform has created asmartphone with both style and substance at a great price.” 

 

 

Facebookand global operators to support Nokia Asha 501 with free data plans

 

TheNokia Asha 501 is expected to start shipping in June 2013. It is expected to beavailable through approximately 60 operators and distributors in more than 90countries worldwide.

 

“We are very happy to offer the new Nokia Asha 501through our subsidiaries in the continent. We are certain that this innovativedevice will follow the successful footprint of the Nokia Asha family, combiningaffordability with the best communication and Internet browsing capabilities,”said Marco Quatorze, director, Value Added Services, America Movil.

 

A leading operator in the Asia-Pacific region,Telkomsel is also supporting the arrival of the new Nokia Asha. “The Nokia Asha501 will help us to boost the mobile Internet in Indonesia. It is powered byinnovations like the Nokia Xpress Browser, based on a very efficient data compressiontechnology which allows us to offer the best data plan tariff for people,” saidAlistair Johnston, chief marketing officer, Telkomsel. “We have a billingagreement with Nokia that supports the creation of local applications that are absolutelyrelevant to Indonesian consumers.” 

 

The popularity of the Nokia Asha family has alsoprompted innovative approaches to bundled mobile services. Nokia, Facebook andmobile network operator Airtel announced they have joined forces to offerdata-free access to the standalone Facebook app, as well as the mobile sitem.facebook.com. By the end of the second quarter, current Airtel subscribers inAfrica and India** will be able to enjoy unlimited, data-free access toFacebook from their Nokia Asha 501 for a limited period of time.

 

Commenting on the partnership, Andre Beyers, chief marketingofficer of Airtel Africa said: “The collaboration with Nokia is in line withour strategy of enabling people to access data in Africa as we seek to bridgethe digital divide across the continent. We’re already witnessing tremendousgrowth in data use across the 17 countries where we operate. The provision offree Facebook access is an excellent proposition to the millions of Airtelconsumers. We are extremely delighted to partner with Nokia to give ourconsumers an even better mobile experience.”  

 

“As India's leading mobile services provider, we areseeing that more and more customers are eager to leverage theirInternet-enabled phones to access Facebook’s hugely popular social networkingservices,” said N. Rajaram, chief marketing officer, Consumer Business, BhartiAirtel. “Airtel's Facebook offer on the new Nokia Asha 501 will provide greatvalue to customers who are looking to do more online and get the most fromtheir data plans. We are delighted to work with Nokia and Facebook to make thisservice bundle a reality for our customers in India.”

 

Telkomsel will provide a specific Nokia TelkomselAsha data plan that offers up to 500 MB of data use and includes 60 minutes ofcalls and 60 SMSs. The company will also provide a one month free data plan toconsumers using Nokia Asha 501 that can be used for all mobile Internetactivities, including access to Facebook or downloading apps.

“This bundle is a great way to discoverFacebook on your Nokia Asha and enjoy the experience for longer withoutworrying about data charges,” said Vaughan Smith, VP, Mobile Partnerships,Facebook. “Working in close partnership with Nokia and global operatorsmade this offer possible and we are excited to help connect the world onFacebook.”

MTN, a leading operator across Africa, said it willalso offer the Nokia Asha 501 and ease access to Facebook. “We are excited tosupport this initiative with Facebook in Nigeria and Zambia, and we are lookingforward to expanding it to other markets," says Pieter Verkade, groupchief commercial officer, MTN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Productspecifications and availability

The Nokia Asha 501is available in single or EasySwapDual SIM models. All come with WiFi and Bluetooth. Other specifications:

·        Dimensions:  99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm; 98grams

·        Camera: 3.2 MP

·        Single SIM standby time: up to 48 days***

·        Dual SIM standby time: up to 26 days***

·        Talk time: up to 17 hours

·        Additional memory of 4GB (card included in box), expandable up to 32GB

·        Forty free EA Games worth €75 downloadable from Nokia Store

·        Available colours:Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, Yellow, Whiteand Black

·        Suggested pricing is 99 USD beforetaxes and subsidies.