New Asha Touch now in Kenya

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Phone maker Nokia has unveiled another smartphone in its Asha series, targeted at the Kenyan youth.

“We recently launched our first full touch Asha product, the Nokia Asha 305, and now add to the full touch family with the Asha 311,” said Bruce Howe, General Manager for Nokia East Africa. “This is in line with our commitment to bring smartphones to the vibrant youth market at more affordable price points, while not compromising on performance and access to world class apps through Nokia Store”. 

This comes as Nokia’s market share dropped three percentage points year over year for the second quarter, while sales fell by 14.8 percentage points, according to research company Gartner.

Gartner said the worldwide mobile phone market shrank in the second quarter of this year, with sales falling by 2.3% compared to the same quarter in 2011.

The research firm said Motorola, LG, HTC, and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion all also saw losses in market share, while Apple and Samsung’s rose by 2.3 percentage points and 5.3 percentage points, respectively.

The research firm attributed the shrink to a “challenging economic environment,” 

Samsung’s growth was aided by strong Galaxy sales -- particularly of its flagship Galaxy S3 device, which reached 10 million in the first two months after its release.

The firm said the flagship Nokia Asha Touch 311 is now available for purchase in Kenya at an estimated retail price of Ksh 9,990.

To ensure the youths are excited, the Nokia 311 is a colourful, compact touch screen device that allows users to enjoy a host of mobile entertainment options with just a simple swipe.

These include the exclusive-to-Nokia offer of 40 free to download games from Electronic Arts (EA), featuring titles like Tetris, Bejeweled, Need for Speed, The Run and EA SPORTS, FIFA 12.

“Nokia Asha Touch users can enjoy even more games with 22 classic NAMCO BANDAI arcade tiles including PAC-MAN, GALAGA and Final Fantasy now available for download from the Nokia Store, ranging in price from USD 0.99 to USD 2.99,” said Bruce Howe, General Manager for Nokia East Africa.

The pre-loaded social application allows users to access Facebook and Twitter directly from the home screen.

Howe said the new phone comes coupled with the new Nokia Browser 2.0, which makes Internet browsing up to twice as fast and 85 per cent cheaper.

The Nokia Asha 311 also features a 3.2MP camera and pre-installed Nokia Maps, in addition to the 15 level pre-bundled version of Angry Birds.

According to Gartner, overall, global sales of mobile devices reached 419 million units in the quarter, with smartphone sales up by more than 42% year-on-year.

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