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Nokia still has ‘Asha’ to ride on to the smartphone wave

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Nokia

As intense battles continue in the fast growing smartphone market in India, Nokia is trying to crease its space out as the long standing leader in mobile communications. Following the launch of the Lumia 610, Nokia has announced the addition of two new members to its Asha Family, the Nokia Asha 305 and 311.

While the 305 is an easy swap dual SIM phone, the Asha 311 boasts of an extra feather in its hat since it is powered by a 1GHz processor. Integrating features like Nokia Maps, Nokia Music, Nokia Browser and Nokia Social, the devices are aimed at multiplying the value consciousness of the customer who has crafted the “aspirational category” for mobile phones.

Pitched at affordable price points of Rs 5,029 and Rs 7,139 respectively, the phones are meant to “provide customers with an overall package,” says Viral Oza, Director Marketing of Nokia India.

The models while are targeted at the youth, Nokia is hoping to get on to the smartphone wave through the low-end segment, a place not exactly void, yet not cluttered still.

While the consumer is not necessarily engaging with a “real” smartphone, Oza believes that the “wow they get out of the experience” is what stands out. Identifying the fact that internet access is one of the top five drivers for buying a phone and this, coming as an input from the consumer, “the smartphone definition for Nokia is the consumer’s definition of a smartphone”, says Oza.

In its “hyper social” form, the youth is the mainstream target of the two full-touch devices. Nokia has also collaborated with EA Games and is providing 40 free games, like FIFA 2012 and Need For Speed: The Run, to download and keep forever.

The upcoming TVC for Nokia Asha 305, highlights the swift music download feature of the handset, where consumers can download music in under a minute.

Besides the TVC, Nokia is hoping to engage its target audience on tye social media too. “Nokia has a huge fan base on Facebook and Twitter. We are the third most viewed brand on Youtube. And given that we’re talking to the youth, there is going to be a lot of engagement online,” says Oza on the extensive scope of marketing the devices through the digital space.

However, the scale which measures innovation on the basis of benefits against price, Nokia is still grappling with questions around tagging feature phones as smartphones. Brands like Samsung, Micromax and Karbonn have managed to fill the market with a quality operating system through the Android within identical price ranges. And Nokia might need to worry about not being able to adequately defend queries on what sets it apart from the rest.

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