Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) had a significant announcement to make Wednesday but it seemed to be overshadowed, at least here in the States, thanks to the port-mortems of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) quarterly earnings report Tuesday night. While this announcement isn’t going to cause many waves in America, for a company that is seeking some traction in the mobile phone space worldwide, this might be one of the catalysts to secure a turnaround for the embattled handset maker.
Very early Wednesday morning (about 3 a.m. Eastern), Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) did something that Apple has not done yet in 2013 – introduce a new device. Nokia took bright Lumia colors and attached them to a new Asha handset called the Asha 210, which is designed to be a low-priced, very socially embedded mobile phone that is primarily designed for emerging markets in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. What makes this phone such a big deal? It has a QWERTY keyboard, space for two SIM cards and a 2-megapixel camera. But those aren’t even the best parts.
The Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) Asha 210 has Wi-fi capability and … drum roll … it is the first phone to have a dedicated WhatsApp button to allow for users to access various instant messaging accounts (including Facebook and Twitter) to communicate with friends.
And as an added feature, WhatsApp is providing the service free to all Asha 210 owners. Oh, and the price? The phone is expected to retail for about $72 U.S., making one of the better-priced phones on the market, especially for the features it will hold. The phone will come in yellow, cyan, magenta, black and white and will be available on store shelves during this quarter (by the end of June).
“The Nokia Asha 210 really stands out giving super-social consumers new ways to express their personalities through design, color and innovations like the world’s first WhatsApp button,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK). “It has been designed to allow people to easily update their social networks, stay in touch with friends and share user created content.”
What are your thoughts about the Nokia Asha 210? Do you think it can work to give Nokia more market share in emerging markets, thus helping its bottom line while it develops its Lumia line in the U.S. and Europe? Let us know your thoughts about the Asha 210 or about Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.