Nokia Asha platform unlocks sub-$100 for developers


Low end smartphone opportunity unlocked for developers interested in the Nokia Asha range

Nokia has announced a global initiative to unlock the sub-$100 smartphone market for developers with the release of its Nokia Asha platform. Nokia also announced the Nokia Asha 501, the first smartphone built for the new platform.

Developers who write applications for the Nokia Asha 501 will reach all smartphones based on the new Asha platform without having to rewrite code. Nokia expects to sell 100 million of the new generation Asha smartphones over coming years, beginning with the Nokia Asha 501, it claimed.

'We've seen a tremendous increase in consumer demand for apps for our Asha smartphones, as witnessed by the growth of downloads in Nokia Store,' said Marco Argenti, head of developer experiences at Nokia. 'Consumers expect quality apps at every price point. With the new Asha platform, developers will be incentivized to deliver those quality apps, previously found only on high-end smartphones, thanks to unprecedented volumes and reach opportunities through one distribution channel and a single platform.'

Many of the most popular applications are already available or in development for the 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-Bandai and Reliance Games.

Developers will also get easy to use development tools and will have more ways to sell and promote apps, including the new Nokia In-App Payment tool.

The new Nokia Asha Software Development Kit 1.0 is a suite of tools that support the development, testing, packaging and deployment of Java apps on the Nokia Asha platform. The web app tools include a Web Development Environment (WDE), an integrated development environment (IDE) that developers can use to create and edit their Nokia Asha web apps; Web Inspector to help developers to debug and inspect elements in their web apps; and a new Web Designer Tool for creating great user experience for their web apps.

Nokia also announced the new Nokia In-App Payment tool, designed to make it easier for developers to sell content from within their apps. It provides a simple and secure purchase experience for consumers and transparent payments for developers. Nokia In-App Payment will also be available for existing Asha and Series 40 phones, such as the Nokia 301. Nokia will release a public beta of Nokia In-App Payment in coming weeks.

Dennis Crowley, CEO and co-founder at mobile location-based social networking site, Foursquare, commented: 'Nokia continues to be a valued partner for Foursquare. The new Foursquare app on Asha delivers a fantastic search and discovery experience to help people make the most of where they are. As we head into the next wave of new Asha smartphones, we look forward to making Foursquare available for millions of Asha customers around the world.'

While Michael Fisher, director of mobile business development at Twitter, noted: 'Twitter's integration into the new Asha platform, along with preloaded Twitter application that ships on Nokia devices, offers people a richer Twitter experience. Whether you want to share a photo or news article, connect with people or find out what's happening around the world, it's now easier than ever to use Twitter on this family of devices.'

The new Nokia Asha 501 has been built to give people the best possible mobile experiences at an affordable price. It is efficient, with an industry-leading standby time of up to 48 days. The Asha 501 is the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform, which uses Nokia's investments in Smarterphone, a company which Nokia acquired in 2012.

'The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimisation,' said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, mobile phones, Nokia. 'The synergy between the physical design and the engine that is the new Asha platform has created a smartphone with both style and substance at a great price.'


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