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Nokia’s Hopes Pinned on Asha Feature Phones

Accelerating its objective to connect the next billion people to the internet, Nokia has unveiled additional services and three more Asha feature phone models — the Nokia Asha 202, Asha 203 and Asha 302. It was announced today, Feb. 27.

The new offerings, according to Nokia, target three dimensions: Work, with Mail for Exchange support for the Nokia Asha 302; Learn, bringing new information services for young, urban consumers, and a fast, cloud-based browser that reduces internet access costs; and Play, with free EA games available on the Nokia Asha 202 and Asha 203.

Meanwhile, Nokia has planned changes at its factories in Komarom, Hungary, Reynosa, Mexico and Salo, Finland.

As a consequence of the plans, the number of steps in manufacturing and the amount of work carried out at the sites in Komarom, Reynosa and Salo are expected to decrease substantially. The changes are anticipated to impact approximately 4,000 employees in total. (Read: Nokia’s New Plans to Impact 4,000 Employees)

“Since outlining a new strategy a year ago, we’ve taken significant actions to deliver against it,” said Mary T. McDowell, Nokia’s executive vice president for Mobile Phones. “We’ve been connecting the next billion people to the mobile world and its benefits through contemporary feature phones and internet services. Today, we are taking another step in that direction, with a compelling combination of smarter mobile devices packed with innovative services.”

Moreover, Nokia also announced an evolution of Nokia Life Tools, Nokia Life, which provides life-enhancing information across the range of Nokia Series 30 and Series 40 products.

Now with additional services, social elements and fresher look, it’s available first on the Nokia Asha 202 and 203 phones. Since its 2009 launch in India, the SMS-based service has expanded to China, Indonesia and Nigeria. To date, more than 50 million people have experienced its benefits, Nokia claims.

Nokia Life delivers content in the areas of parenting, life skills, education, health, entertainment and agriculture. For example, the company says, Nokia Life can help parents focus on children’s physical, emotional and social growth needs, from birth to adolescence. People can also learn English using basic SMS communications, and enjoy ringtones, sport news and trivia.

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