Nokia launches smartphones ‘Asha’ in Qatar
NOKIA, the world’s leading mobile phone maker for 14 years, on Tuesday launched low-cost smartphones ‘Asha’ in Qatar to tap into the growing demand for smartphones in the country, and also to give a tough fight to competitors like Samsung.
Research firm Strategy Analytics last month said Samsung Electronics had overtaken Nokia to become the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, Nokia took the top spot in 1998 from Motorola, but in the first quarter of 2012 Samsung shipped 93million phones compared to Nokia’s 83million.
“The year 2011 was hugely an important year for Nokia and marked a turning-point in the company’s evolution.
In the beginning of last year, we announced our partnership with Microsoft as our main smartphone platform moving forward,” Middle East Vice-President, Tom Farrell said at the launch of the smartphones.
He said the company as early as October, delivered its first Nokia with Windows phone, the Lumia 800 and 710, demonstrating measurable progress in the new smartphone strategy.
In a reply to a question regarding the market share in Qatar, Farrell said, “we don’t disclose countrywise figures, adding that 6 out of 10 people in the region use Nokia device.” He said it gives an idea that people still have confidence in our products.
Samsung Electronics on Monday said it is now leading the Qatar smartphone market with a 34.3 percent market share. Samsung achieved solid growth by posting a strong 64.7 percent growth from fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012. This growth was fueled by the wide acceptance of Samsung’s successful line-up of smartphones in the country.
Commenting on the newly launched smartphones, a Nokia official said, “it is our commitment to connect the next billion to the internet, the second pillar of our strategy, through the official launch of Nokia Asha range in Qatar.” He said the Asha range will allow consumers to have access to a smartphone experience by being able to download apps, surf the web, check email, play games and chat at an affordable price point starting at QR 286.