Nokia announces the Asha phones – connecting people in developing countries to the Internet

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The Nokia Asha 303 aims to bridge the "digital divide" (Image: Nokia/supplied)

Nokia has announced its brand new Asha mobile phone line-up, featuring the Asha 303, 300 and 200/201. The new line of phones are designed to be accessible for all users, attractable and affordable to even the most price conscious person. Nokia is targeting this to the “next billion” of consumers in emerging markets.

The name derives itself from Hindi, meaning “hope”, and forms part of Nokia’s goal in attempting to connect the people to the internet and each other.

Nokia Asha 303

The Asha 303 features a large 2.6-inch capacitive touch screen with a QWERTY keyboard. It also has 100MB internal storage in addition of an extra 32GB of storage via a microSD card. In addition, it has Wi-Fi connectivity and 3G support; and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The phone also runs on Symbian Series 40, so it means that it is not dead yet. The phone is expected to be out in the fourth quarter with a price tag of 115 EUR.

Nokia Asha 300

The Asha 300 features 140MB of internal storage that is expandable up to 32GB, a 2,4-inch display with a resistive touch screen and a numeric keypad; 5 megapixel camera, FM radio and a music player. It also supports Bluetooth 2.1 and also Symbian Series 40. The phone will come out in the fourth quarter with a price tag of 85 EUR.

Nokia Asha 200/201

The Asha 200 and 201 are two brand new smartphones that are designed to connect people to social networking sites while also maintain its price. The two phones will also include 10MB of internal storage and expandable memory of up to 32GB. They are also featuring a 2.4-inch display and Nokia is touting its music features, with a powerful speaker and 52-hour music playback time.

The reason why there are two variations is because the Asha 200 will be a dual SIM phone with Easy Swap functionality, while the Asha 201 is a single SIM phone. Both will be priced at 60 EUR, with the Asha 200 coming out in Q4 2011, and Asha 201 coming out in Q1 of next year.