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A Smart Phone for $99? Impressive or Insignificant? 09/08/2013
How good do you think a $99 smart phone would be? Take a look at the Nokia Asha 501 and decide for yourself.
A Smart Phone for $99? Impressive or Insignificant? Nokia was the phone of the time in 2000 having sold over 125 million units of its iconic and cult status Nokia 3310 phone. It was virtually indestructible; it ran on a dual band GSM and weighed a heavy 133grams. For its time it was a phone filled with impressive features and plenty of street appeal. Skip forward just over ten years later and Nokia are scrambling to even make a mark on the smart phone market. 

How Much Will it Cost?

At the moment most smart phones sell from $600 and up and there are many people who cannot afford such expensive gadgets. Nokia wants to hit the market at the below $US100 price tag to capture those people who want the features of a smart phone, but cannot afford to spend at best a week’s salary and at worst a months on a new phone. It plans to corner the lower-end of the smartphone market with its Nokia Asha 501 which has a recommended retail price of $99. 
 
The Asha looks a little like the Nokia’s Window-based Lumia phone and Nokia’s aim is that the phone will stop consumers from focussing on Google’s Android software as the only option for a cheap handset. With rapidly falling sales in the smart phone area experts believe Nokia’s only hope is to position themselves as leading developers and sellers of budget smartphones especially in the emerging smart phone markets of India and China. 

Phone Competitors and Mobile Comparisons

Nokia has a lot to compete with when you compare them to the popularity of iPhones, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. These are leading smart phone market competitors which offer as much grunt as they do street appeal. Nokia’s Executive Vice President Timo Toikkanen believes that the Asha 501 “raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design”. Even though Nokia seems confident that the decision will really be left up to consumers. 
 
Initially the Nokia Asha 501 will be a 2G phone as 80% of the world’s population only has access to 2G. It will also only offer 128mb of internal memory to go with its 3.2MP camera and 17 hours of battery life. The phone will also feature the Nokia Xpress Browser app, a 7.5cm screen and their Fastlane screen concept to display newsfeeds and notifications. 
 
The funky colours are a drawcard for the Asha 501 much like Sprout’s creative smart phone cases, but will that and the price be enough to win over potential new users? We would love to know what you think so jump onto our Facebook or Twitter page and let us know what you think of the new Nokia Asha 501 phone.