Nokia targets mass market with touch device range

Embattled device maker Nokia announced its Asha Touch mobile device line, which it said is “taking the full touch experience to new price points.”

The products are intended to help the company defend its position in the mass-market handset sector, where it has come across “really, really aggressive” competition from both new and established rivals.

The three handsets are said to include a “fully re-designed touch user interface.” The first will reach the market imminently, to be followed by its siblings in Q3, with prices in the EUR63–EUR92 range.

In its Q1 results release, Nokia acknowledged that it its feature phone business is being challenged by “full touch” devices from rivals, which offer a user experience more akin to a smartphone.

While its woes in the smartphone sector have been widely discussed, Nokia has also seen significant pressure in its Mobile Phones business.

In the first quarter of 2012, the company shipped 70.8 million mass market handsets, down from 84.3 million in the same period in 2011, which was attributed to distributors and operators reducing their inventories of Nokia feature phones.

The new Asha Touch range comprises three devices: Asha 305, Asha 306 and Asha 311. Asha 305 includes dual-SIM capabilities, while its sibling, Asha 306, is a single-SIM device that “becomes Nokia’s most affordable Wi-Fi handset to date.”

Asha 311 (pictured) is a “fast and fluid 3.5G capacitive touchscreen device, powered by a 1GHz processor to provide a greater Internet experience.”

Among the features are a new web browser coupled with cloud service, which reduces data consumption by 90 percent, “meaning that customers can enjoy faster and cheaper internet access.”

Nokia also said that buyers “will receive an exclusive gift of 40 EA games to download free and keep forever.”

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