Nokia Asha Platform Unlocks Sub-100 USD Smartphone Opportunity for Developers

New Asha platform delivers developers a consistent quality application experience in the world's fastest growing smartphone category

New Delhi, India and Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced a global initiative to unlock the sub-100 USD smartphone market for developers with the release of its Nokia Asha platform. Nokia also announced the Nokia Asha 501, the first smartphone built for the new platform.

Developers who write applications for the Nokia Asha 501 will reach all smartphones based on the new Asha platform without having to re-write code. Nokia expects to sell 100 million of the new generation Asha smartphones over the coming years, beginning with the Nokia Asha 501.

"We've seen a tremendous increase in consumer demand for apps for our Asha smartphones, as witnessed by the growth of downloads in Nokia Store," said Marco Argenti, head of Developer Experiences at Nokia. "Consumers expect quality apps at every price point. With the new Asha platform, developers will be incentivized to deliver those quality apps, previously found only on high-end smartphones, thanks to unprecedented volumes and reach opportunities through one distribution channel and a single platform."

Many of the most popular applications are already available or in development for the Nokia Asha platform, including CNN, eBuddy, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, Pictelligent, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat, World of Red Bull and games from Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Indiagames, Namco-Bandai and Reliance Games. WhatsApp and other key partners continue to explore new Asha.

Developers will also get easy-to-use development tools and more ways to sell and promote apps, including the new Nokia In-App Payment tool.

New Nokia Asha SDK 1.0 and Nokia Asha web app tools

The new Nokia Asha Software Development Kit 1.0 is a suite of tools that support the development, testing, packaging and deployment of Java apps on the Nokia Asha platform.

The new Nokia Asha web app tools include a Web Development Environment (WDE), an integrated development environment (IDE) that developers can use to create and edit their Nokia Asha web apps; Web Inspector to help developers to debug and inspect elements in their web apps; and a new Web Designer Tool for creating great user experience for their web apps.

Nokia In-App Payment

Nokia also announced the new Nokia In-App Payment tool, designed to make it easier for developers to sell content from within their apps. It provides a simple and secure purchase experience for consumers and transparent payments for developers. Nokia In-App Payment will also be available for existing Asha and Series 40 phones, such as the Nokia 301. Nokia will release a public beta of Nokia In-App Payment in the coming weeks. Developers can sign-up for the beta at www.developer.nokia.com/inapppayment.

Developers voice support for new Nokia Asha platform

Dennis Crowley, CEO and co-founder of Foursquare: "Nokia continues to be a valued partner for Foursquare. The new Foursquare app on Asha delivers a fantastic search and discovery experience to help people make the most of where they are. As we head into the next wave of new Asha smartphones, we look forward to making Foursquare available for millions of Asha customers around the world."

Michael Fisher, Director of Mobile Business Development, Twitter: "Twitter's integration into the new Asha platform, along with preloaded Twitter application that ships on Nokia devices, offers people a richer Twitter experience. Whether you want to share a photo or news article, connect with people or find out what's happening around the world, it's now easier than ever to use Twitter on this family of devices."

Sebastien Thevenet, General Manager SEA-Pacific, Gameloft: "As Nokia's long term partner, with to date 200 million downloads recorded on Nokia Store, Gameloft is thrilled to offer four preloaded high quality games on the Nokia Asha 501 at launch (Assassin's Creed 3, Bubble Bash 3, Real Football 2013, Little Big City) and overall more than 30 games to download on Nokia Store down the track. Those innovative titles are Try and Buy and Free to Play games making the most of Asha Full Touch capabilities and unique user interface, truly bringing a smartphone gaming experience at your fingertips."

Akira Morikawa, CEO of Line Corporation: "Line's partnership with Nokia is very important and it will continue on new Asha. Delivering Line on new Asha represents our commitment of ensuring that people around the world will experience the joy of communication through Line on Asha smartphones."

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Reliance Games: "Reliance Games and Nokia have together demonstrated the combined power of localized content and a distribution platform in India. Our partnership with Nokia is a very cherished partnership for us to demonstrate the power of GoLocal. Reliance Games is committed to develop games on localized themes on the new Asha platform and entertain millions of people around the world by working closely with local Nokia teams in India, Asia Pacific, Latin America and other growth markets."

Keshav Bajaj, VP Business Development, Nimbuzz: "Most of the 150 million and counting Nimbuzz users are from markets where Nokia Asha continues to gain momentum, including India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. We are very excited to have an application exclusively built for the new Asha platform to ensure the best user experience. This is yet another initiative from Nimbuzz for one of its most exclusive partners, Nokia."

Alex Adjadj, Director of Strategic Development, Mobile Sales & Marketing, Namco-Bandai: "NAMCO BANDAI has been developing mobile games for over 10 years but there are still regions of the world where users haven't seen or played PAC-MAN. Our 22 titles available in 13 languages for the Nokia Asha 501 is a testament to our commitment to Nokia to bring a great experience to mobile users of all demographics and budgets."

Ramesh Kumar, Head of ESPNcricinfo and ESPN Digital Media India: "Given the popularity of Asha devices, the ESPNcricinfo app on the Asha 2013 platform is a dynamic way to reach growing numbers of mobile users in emerging markets. It is a rich platform where the ESPNcricinfo app can provide comprehensive cricket coverage tailored to suit on-the-go consumption of today's passionate fans, including its famed match coverage, the latest news stories, insightful editorial pieces covering International & domestic cricket - all tailor-made for mobile consumption."

Glenn Roland, VP New Platforms and OEMs, Electronic Arts: "With the new improved Asha platform and the Asha 501, Electronic Arts is excited to be bringing our games to Asha devices - extending our long partnership with Nokia - and reaching new EA fans and continuing growth into new markets."

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
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About Nokia
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