updated 11:49 am EDT, Mon June 24, 2013
Pakistan, Thailand first to get Asha smartphone, India next week
Nokia will commence sales of its budget smartphone in emerging markets later this week. The Asha 501, with the new Asha software platform and a choice of either a normal home screen or the usage-logging Fastlane system, will go on sale in Pakistan and Thailand initially, with India and other locations to follow in the coming weeks.
Countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific will also gain the Asha 501 next week, according to the company blog, with Latin American countries such as Brazil set to receive the device later this summer.
The Asha 501, available in a choice of six colors, is a 3.4-ounce phone that uses parts of the Series 40 software rebranded as the Asha Platform. Offering its own Nokia Store, it will be able to run ported S40 apps, will have Facebook and Twitter preinstalled, and have up to forty free games from EA available to download.
Using a three-inch 320x240-resolution touchscreen, the Asha 501 has a rear 3.2-megapixel fixed focus camera, and a 4GB memory card for storage. While it doesn't have 3G connectivity, it does offer Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and 2G connections, with its 1,200mAh battery offering a maximum 2G talk time of 17 hours, and music playback running to 56 hours.
Nokia is selling the Asha 501 for $100 before taxes and subsidies.