Home » "smart" feature phones » Smartphone-like Asha Touch from Nokia: targeting the next billion users with superior UX created for ultra low-cost and full touch S40 devices

Smartphone-like Asha Touch from Nokia: targeting the next billion users with superior UX created for ultra low-cost and full touch S40 devices

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UpdatesNokia Asha 310 debuts with Dual SIM and Wi-Fi [Nokia press release, Feb 12, 2013]

Nokia Asha 310 smartphone ( http://nokia.ly/158MDjy) is all about doing more. Up to 3 times more internet browsing on your existing data bundle, thanks to data compression from the cloud-powered Xpress Browser. More time with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and eBuddy. More of the world outdoors with Nokia Maps, pre-loaded to save data, enabling you to get from A to B and discover nearby points of interest. And more fun, thanks to YouTube, Redbull and 40 free EA games including best-sellers like FIFA, Tetris and Need for Speed.
Nokia Asha 310: $102 (list) – a dual SIM enhanced version of the Asha 309: $99 (list)
+ Both Asha 309 and 310 are WiFi enabled, EGPRS and GPRS based versions with modest camera (2 MP), video (176 x 144 pixels H.263 only recording at 13 fps, playback at 15 fps) and processing power (800 MHz as indicated in India) capabilities. The top Asha 311 ($115 list price in India) is a 3.5G phone with 3MP camera, 640 x 480 pixels H.263 and MPEG-4 recording at 25 fps, playback at 30 fps, and a 1 GHz ARM11 processor.  The best retail price on the major Asha market, India: Asha 309 is Rs. 4349 [$US 80.5] and Asha 311 is Rs. 5349 [$US 99]. You can download a detailed comparison of these top Asha devices from here (PDF).
Swap SIM cards to suit your lifestyle
With Nokia’s built-in Easy Swap Dual SIM technology, consumers can use the external slot on the Nokia Asha 310 to insert a secondary SIM card, while keeping their principal SIM card in place behind the battery. The Nokia Asha 310 puts the user in control, with the ability to shift between SIM cards for personal or work use without turning off the phone. They can also swap SIM cards while on-the-go, to get the best available tariffs when commuting. Nokia Easy Swap Dual SIM makes it possible to assign and store unique profiles for up to five SIM cards. Users can designate SIM cards for text, voice and data and switch between them at their convenience.
Freedom to do more online with Wi-Fi
The addition of Wi-Fi in the Nokia Asha 310 gives users a fast and easy way to enjoy more online, including streaming videos from YouTube or downloading the 40 free EA Games from Nokia Store. The ability to connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots whether at home or on the go means users aren’t constrained by their data plan.
The Nokia Asha 310 comes pre-loaded with Nokia Xpress Browser, which delivers a fast and fluid browsing experience and support for thousands of web apps. Nokia Xpress Browser compresses Internet data by up to 90%, saving consumers money.

“The Nokia Asha 310 is the first-ever Nokia smartphone to offer both Easy Swap Dual SIM and Wi-Fi in the same device. It gives consumers the best of both worlds, allowing them to separate work and play, or speak with friends on other mobile networks more affordably,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “The addition of Wi-Fi support gives users the freedom to enjoy much more of the Internet compared to competitive devices at this price point.”

The newest addition to the Asha Touch family of smartphones, the Nokia Asha 310 features a 3″ scratch-proof, capacitive touchscreen that complements the sophisticated design. It features a 2 megapixel camera and comes with a 4GB* memory card included, with support for a further 32GB of external memory.

The Nokia Asha 310 will be available to purchase in Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil starting Q1 2013. Suggested pricing is 102 USD before taxes and subsidies. Available colors include black, white and golden light.

*In Brazil, The Nokia Asha 310 will have a 2GB memory card included

How Asha got smart [Nokia Conversations, Jan 24, 2013]

… We talked to Jussi Nevanlinna, VP product marketing, to find out more. …

Nokia Xpress Browser – More browsing, less waiting [nokia YouTube channel, Jan 15, 2013]

Sometimes particular components in the Asha range are actually ahead of the curve. Take battery life, for example. People who use a smartphone have been taught not to expect a particularly great battery life – a day or two, perhaps. So a phone like the Nokia Asha 309 comes as a real revelation to them. This phone has a standby time of 42 days. You could leave it on the kitchen table, go off sailing round the world for a month, come back and still have several days’ work left in it.

And lastly, how is the Series 40 operating system holding up into the 21st Century?

Pretty well, we think. Again, we have to base this on what our customers tell us. The OS has an extremely high Net Promoter score – that’s a measure of how likely people are to recommend something to other people. They describe the user experience as “rich” and say that it “performs quickly”.

And, of course, while Series 40 was first conceived quite some time ago, it’s in a continual process of evolution. When we moved to touch, that demanded a whole host of technical improvements and redesigns for the interface and user experience.

Asha Touch devices are actually the leading smartphones in a number of markets. In China and Indonesia, the Nokia Asha 305 is the top-selling smartphone in its price band. In India and Pakistan, in fact, across the IMEA (India, Middle-East and Asia) region, it’s the top-selling smartphone overall.

One reason for this is the way we go about creating them. We don’t just take an expensive design and then shrink it down or chop things off until it hits the price point. Some of our competitors do this, and it can lead to phones that feel ‘cheap’. Our phones are built from the ground-up to deliver a particular set of user experiences. They are purpose-built, not cut-down.

Diwali Offer with Nokia Asha Smartphones TVC [NokiaIndiaOfficial YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012], remark from Wikipedia: Diwali … known as the “festival of lights,” … observed by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs

This Diwali is going to get colourful with Nokia. Buy any Nokia Asha Smartphone and get Yatra.com travel vouchers worth Rs. 4,500 [US$ 84]. Watch as Pummy Aunty learns it the hard way. Please visit http://bit.ly/thisdiwalicelebrateholi for more information.

The Story of my Nokia Asha – Aditya in Jakarta [Sept 26, 2012]

The Me & My Asha video series tells the story of how different people around the world see Nokia Asha: http://nokia.ly/PqL3Ad. Aditya is a 20-year old university student who lives in Jakarta. For him, the Nokia Asha is fast, stylish and easy.

image

Nokia Corporation Q3 2012 Interim Report [press release, Oct 18, 2012]

… Mobile Phones Q3 volumes increased quarter-on-quarter to 77 million units; strong sales start for new Asha full touch smartphones, with volumes of 6.5 million units. …
Commenting on the Q3 results, Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said:
… In our mobile phones business, the positive consumer response to our new Asha full touch smartphones translated into strong sales. And in Q3, our mobile phones business delivered a solid quarter with sequential sales growth and improved contribution margin. …
Mobile Phones
Q3/2012
Q3/2011
YoY
Change
Q2/2012
QoQ
Change
volume(mn units)
76.6
89.8
-15%
73.5
4%
ASP
31
32
-3%
31
0%
… On a year-on-year basis, the decrease in our Mobile Phones volumes in the third quarter 2012 was primarily due to the decline in volumes of our lower priced devices that we sell to our customers for below EUR 30. Volumes of our higher priced devices also declined, partially offset by volumes of our newly launched Asha full touch smartphones.
On a sequential basis, the increase in our Mobile Phones volumes in the third quarter 2012 was primarily due to volumes of our Asha full touch smartphones. In addition, volumes of our devices that we sell to our customers for below EUR 30 increased sequentially, whereas volumes of our QWERTY devices declined sequentially.
… On a sequential basis, our Mobile Phones ASP was approximately flat in the third quarter 2012 as higher sales of our lower priced devices that we sell to our customers for below EUR 30 were offset by higher sales of our Asha full touch smartphones which carry higher ASPs.
THIRD QUARTER 2012 OPERATING HIGHLIGHT
– Nokia announced the Nokia Asha 308 and Asha 309, new additions to the Asha Touch family. The dual SIM Nokia Asha 308 and single SIM Nokia Asha 309 give consumers fast web access at low cost. Nokia also released a new version of Nokia Xpress Browser, which enables up to 90% more efficient mobile browsing and faster access to rich web applications compared to conventional browsers. The Asha 308 and Asha 309 offer a fluid ‘swipe’ user interface and an open environment for third-party application development, characteristics that have earned the complete Asha Touch range full smartphone classification from global market research companies and analysts such as GfK.
– Nokia unveiled Nokia Life+, the latest evolution of its widely-used Nokia Life service. Nokia Life+ is a Web application, which will provide millions of people with valuable information on education, health and “infotainment” topics. Nokia Life+ will be supported by the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 smartphones alongside a wide range of Nokia mobile phones.

Nokia Asha 308 – Ready for everything [nokia YouTube channel, Sept 27, 2012]

The world is waiting. Dive in with super-fast browsing and social media, slick touch screen and data tracking. Do more, pay less with the Nokia Asha 308. Screen images are simulated and some sequences shortened

Nokia expands Asha Touch range to offer consumers smarter Internet experiences [press release, Sept 22, 2012]

… Nokia estimates the retail price for the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 to be about USD 99, excluding taxes and subsidies, with shipping expected to start in the fourth quarter 2012. …

… In addition … Nokia introduced a new web-based tool that makes it even easier to build new applications. With Nokia Xpress Web App Builder, publishers can create appealing web apps for Asha Touch devices, and even novices can turn their web content into a fun and sophisticated web app for Nokia consumers. … Xpress Web App Builder is available at xpresswebapps.nokia.com

Introducing the Nokia Asha 309 [nokia YouTube channel, Sept 24, 2012]

The Nokia Asha 309 – http://nokia.ly/PQLo04 is the latest member of Nokia Asha Touch smartphone family. It brings you the fast cloud-powered Nokia Xpress browser, social networking, pre-loaded Nokia map, and provides you access to thousands of key apps including 40 free EA games. It’s ready to entertain with video and music, and the preloaded Internet radio application allows you to stream content via Wifi from thousands of stations 24/7 around the world. It fits into the range right in between the Nokia Asha 305/6 and Asha 311. Screen images are simulated and some sequences shortened.

Major improvements over the previous Asha Touch 305 and 306 as per the detailed specifications comparison:

  • Capacitive Multipoint-Touch vs Resistive Multipoint-Touch
  • 64 MB RAM / 128 MB ROM vs. 32 MB RAM / 64 MB ROM
    allowing max user storage of 20 MB vs. 10 MB
  • Camera focus range of 60 cm to infinity vs. 100 cm to infinity
  • Video recording frame rate of 13 fps vs. 10 fps
  • Bluetooth 3.0 +A2DP vs. Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR

while in some specification offering less, the most important one is:

  • GSM talk time is up to 9 hours vs. 14 hours
    (with the same BL-4U 3.7V 1110 mAh battery)

Came to India: Nokia Launches Asha 308 And 309; Prices Start From Rs 6200 [US$ 116] [TechTree, Oct 18, 2012]

Asha positioning vs. Lumia and Android, see: The BGR Show – Nokia’s Smartphones Guru [iamOTHER YouTube channel, Aug 9, 2012]:

[3:19] First of all what we’re working on with Windows Phone is to take it as low end price point as we possibly can. Having said that, the Nokia Asha devices have really been developed with the emerging market consumer in mind. We’ve brought a lot of smartphone like features to the user interface, as well as investing in making access to the Internet possible for consumers who have real affordability constraints, for data compression in our browser etc. We are working to continue to invest there so that Asha is a relevant competitor to the lowest end Android devices. [4:05]

Nokia Feature Phone To Dominate While Smart Phone To Fade: India Key [analysis by Seeking Alpha, Aug 12, 2012]

With the second largest population of any country in the world and the fastest growing mobile device market over the last year; India provides a vast amount of opportunities for Nokia (NOK). While The Microsoft (MSFT) partnership and its subsequent offspring, the Lumina smart-phone, keep garnering all the headlines, the “feature-phone,” will lead this stock out of the abyss!
First a little historical background; facing international pressure to liberalize the country’s telecom industry, the Indian government passed the National Telecom Policy of 1994. This resulted in the country being divided into 20 (There are currently 23) telecommunication circles for basic telephony and 18 circles for mobile services; each circle represented a geographic region in which a particular telecom operator would provide service. An auction was held to determine which telecom operator would receive a spectrum license for each circle; the license gave them the exclusive right to provide service for that spectrum within the specified area. A similar spectrum auction has been held each time a new wireless spectrum (2G/3G/4G) was introduced over the past two decades. To this end, on May 2010, an auction was held for 3G spectrum licenses and resulted in exorbitant prices being paid by a majority of the country’s largest operators, “The Indian 3G spectrum auctions ended after 34 days, 183 rounds and prices close to $15 billion.
Having spent such a significant amount for the licenses, these 7 operators were left with little additional capital to invest in 3G infrastructures; instead the majority focused their efforts on extracting revenue from the established 3G circles. As a result, many of the largest towns and significant pockets of the largest cities are still void of 3G coverage and this spotty service is greatly hindering the willingness of people to adopt 3G technology.
In a country with a very low per capita income and arguably the most cost-conscious consumers in the world, most are unwilling to pay significantly more for 3G services.

Nokia Asha 305 Price in India 2012 14th August valid in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai,Mumbai and Delhi:  Best Price: Rs. 4350 [US$ 78]

The Asha 305 was recently compared (Nokia’s masquerade [BGR, Aug 13, 2012]) to S Mobility’s (Spice Mobility’s) entry-level Android phone Mi355 “Stellar Craze” because of:

Spice is one of the new crop of Nokia’s lethal rivals in Asia, a nimble Indian upstart vendor that blindsided Nokia with its broad selection of dual-SIM phones in 2011 when Nokia still relied on a single-SIM product range.

  Stellar Craze Asha 305
Weight 120g 98g
Thickness 13mm 13mm
3G support Yes No
Camera 5 Mp 2 Mp
Display size 3.5″ 3″
Pixel count 480×800 240×400
Pixel density 266 155
Screen type Capacitive Resistant
Dual-SIM Yes Yes
Price in India Rs 6,600  [US$ 119] Rs 4,600

Nokia’s Asha 305 is in most ways far cruder device than the Stellar Craze. But it weighs less, looks sleek and has a snappy new UI. And in most parts of India, the lack of 3G support is not a problem.

Over the next four quarters, Nokia’s battle for survival is going to be waged in the streets of Rio De Janeiro and Mumbai, where blue-collar consumers will compare the Asha 305 to devices like Stellar Craze. Will they accept a sleek feature phone with a 3-inch screen and a low price that represents a big improvement in display and software quality over the previous budget phones? Or will they spend 40% more to reach for an Android device like the Stellar Craze, with four times the pixel count, 3.5G support and a fancy 5-megapixel camera?

S Mobility Q4 & FY12 Investor/Analyst Conference Call Transcript [May 16, 2012] is providing more insight into the entry-level Android smartphone market in India:

Pranav Kshatriya, Brics Securities, India
Big players like Samsung and LG are focusing lower end of smart phones pricing their Android phone in the Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 7000 [US$ 108 and US$ 126] category and is it really possible to give good quality handsets at a price which is lesser than that? Or how do you see the valid proposition for your smart phone as against the multinationals that are collaborating with Google and then launching their handset?
Sanjeev Mahajan, CEO of Spice retail
I think we can answer this in 2 parts, one we can try and give a retail perspective to it. I ask my colleagues to add their perspective from a Spice Mobile point of view.
The market is moving towards the price point that you talked about. So now you have a wide series of offerings for android phones  in the range of Rs. 5,500 to Rs.6000 [US$ 99 to US$ 108]. In India, if value is at the bottom of the pyramid, over time you will find the shift on the smart phone category towards a lower price point. Now having said that, I don’t think there will be a drastic change. You would find smart phones at Rs.6,000 or so but in my assessment you will not find smart phones at about Rs.

More about that:
Spice Mobility Launches Stellar, Stellar Horizon and Stellar Craze, Ice Cream Sandwich to boot [June 7, 2012]
Spice to Launch India’s First ‘Secure Android’ Handset Range [May 16, 2012]

End of updates

This quite remarkable achievement is coming amongst the deepest drop in Nokia devices quarterly performance, as well illustrated by the diagram below. Compare the YoY numbers over the last two years, and read the official Nokia explanations given for the last Q2 quarter (shown in red):

image
Source: Nokia Corporation, Quartely results as of July 19, 2012
image
Source: YCharts as of July 23, 2012
The related financial higlights for the last Q2 quarter (reported on July 19, 2012) were as follows:
– Net sales were 4.0 billion Euro, down 5 percent sequentially and 26 percent year over year
– Non-IFRS gross margin in Q2 was 18.1 percent, down 630 basis points sequentially primarily due to the recognition of approximately 220 million EURO of inventoryrelated allowances* in Smart Devices
– Non-IFRS OPEX was 1.1 billion Euro, down 3 percent on a sequential basis and 14 percent year over year
– Non-IFRS operating margin was negative 9.1 percent in Q2 down sequentially from a negative 3.0 percent in Q1
* Nokia: “In Q2, we recognized approximately EUR 220 million of allowances in Smart Devices related to excess component inventory, future purchase commitments and an inventory revaluation. These allowances relate to our Smart Devices product, that is, Lumia, Symbian as well as MeeGo. Because our internal sales outlook is now lower, we believe we will not be able to use some of the components which we already have on our books, as well as components we have committed to purchase. In addition, we have reduced the carrying value of some of our inventory.”
Note: There is a simultaneous substantial reduction in the Mobile Device segment. The whole next gen operating system effort, code-named Meltemi has been killed. See: Nokia scraps phone software to conserve cash: sources [Reuters, July 26, 2012]. It goes as far as Nokia Beijing Institute began layoffs [First Financial Daily, Shanghai, July 26, 2011]. But it is an important remark  in that article, that “layoffs mainly involved in the forward-looking technology departments and R & D personnel, and is not responsible for the outside world said S30 and S40 mobile phone R & D and assume Windows Phone Handset R & D tasks of R & D center in China.”

Regarding Nokia’s long-term competitiveness Stephen A. Elop, Nokia CEO made the following remarks to the analysts [July 19, 2012]:

During the second quarter, we demonstrated stability in our feature phone business. Our Mobile Phones Q2 volumes of more than 73 million were up quarter-on-quarter. During the quarter, we introduced new innovations to our feature phones such as Mail for Exchange, low-end full touch devices and very affordable multi-SIM devices. The feature phone market remains an attractive market, and we plan to improve our competitiveness and profitability in this space by further developing Series 40 and Series 30 devices.

In our Smart Devices business, we continue to see increased consumer support for Lumia and the Windows Phone ecosystem. Last week, a Nielsen survey confirmed how satisfied Nokia Lumia 900 owners in the U.S. are with their devices. The Lumia 900 earned a Net Promoter Score of 63 with 96% of owners extremely or somewhat satisfied and 95% willing to recommend the device to others. Through all of this, we are learning about new feature requirements that we plan to bring the market to improve our global consumer satisfaction. These results are no doubt enhanced by the progress that developers are making with applications. We were pleased to announce that the Windows Phone ecosystem has exceeded 100,000 applications.
Most importantly, we are seeing progress in our Lumia numbers. We sold 4 million Lumia devices in Q2, which is up from about 2 million in Q1, with growth driven by the expanded availability of the Lumia 900 and the Lumia 610 across markets. As we look ahead, we expect the launch of Windows 8 for PCs and tablets, plus the launch of Windows Phone 8, to be a catalyst for Lumia. Windows Phone 8 will share the same Metro user experience and the core operating system technologies as Windows 8, providing a similar platform for developer applications across devices. As Microsoft shared, the look and feel of the Lumia interface is to become familiar to millions of people through PCs, tablets and Xbox consoles. Plus, we anticipate that Microsoft will launch a bold and aggressive marketing campaign for Windows 8, which we believe will have a halo effect for Lumia. And as the lead mobile partner for Microsoft, we plan to deliver competitive smartphones with Windows Phone. We intend to broaden the price point range of Lumia devices to price points both higher for better gross margins and lower for volume. Additionally, we are investing in new materials, new technologies and location-based services for a great consumer experience.
For existing Lumia devices, we have already started the pattern of updates including WiFi tethering, flip to silence, media content streaming and exclusive applications like some from Zynga. As we anticipate the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8, we have worked with Microsoft on a release for existing devices. We are planning for all 4 Lumia devices to receive an update with some Windows Phone 8 features like the new start screen, like core camera experiences and updates to Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Music. This is one example of our continued commitment to enhance the existing Lumia products over time even after Windows Phone 8 ships.
However, to prepare developers for the new Windows Phone platform, Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8 platform in June. As a result, we anticipate some impact to our Lumia business in Q3, although Lumia activations have been flat to up in the weeks following the announcement of Windows Phone 8. Thus, leading up to the introduction of the Windows Phone 8 products, we plan to introduce tactical measures and promotional campaigns. As we do throughout any product life cycle, we plan to pursue traditional marketing and promotional activities to encourage the adoption of Lumia devices.
We are committed to Windows Phone as our primary smartphone strategy. We have learned that it takes tremendous amount of work to break through as the third ecosystem, and we are viewing the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as an important moment in this journey.

These remarks show clearly (look even at the difference in the amount of remarks that are devoted to Asha vs Lumia in the above) that there is change now, with Less focus on feature phones while extending the smartphones effort: further readjustments at Nokia[on this Experiencing the Cloud blog, June 25, 2012] which had the following topics discussed:

  • Speculations about Nokia
  • Nokia and the Windows Phone Summit
  • Nokia Q&A conference for financial analysts and investors, June 14, 2012
  • Nokia announcements, June 14, 2012
  • Scalado acquisition
  • Asha Touch family of mobile devices

The last one gave detailed information about the new Asha Touch products from which I will highlight the following here:

These latest phones have been designed to provide an incredibly rich, smartphone-like experience to consumers who want to be set free from excessive data consumption costs and short battery life.
The new devices take full advantage of the Nokia Browser 2.0, a major recent update which uses Nokia’s cloud technology to reduce data consumption by up to 90%, meaning that consumers can enjoy faster and cheaper internet access. Web sites load up to three times faster in comparison to devices without cloud-accelerated browsing, making it simple for users to find and select from more than 10,000 web apps available for download. They deliver a richer and more interactive consumer experience whilst using less data than a stand-alone internet connected app.
Consumers can easily stay connected with friends and family at the touch of a button as well as share files and links across their social networks. Furthermore, the Nokia Browser’s Download Manager feature helps consumers to manage external content easily, saving music, video or pictures on a memory card, while surfing the internet.
The Asha family is also getting positive support from developers and consumers. Nokia Store has just broken the 5 billion downloads landmark. From January to April, 42% of all content downloaded from Nokia Store was delivered to Asha and other Nokia devices based on the Java ecosystem. Just one year ago, that number was 10%. Also, there are 410 Nokia developers with apps which have achieved more than 1 million downloads. India Games and Pico Brothers just passed 100 million [each].
As well as providing a great, social online experience, the Nokia Asha 305, Asha 306 and Asha 311 have been created with entertainment in mind. All users will receive an exclusive gift of 40 EA games to download for free* and keep forever. These games range across action, arcade and sports, and include titles such as Tetris®, Bejeweled®, Need for Speed(TM) The Run and EA SPORTS(TM) FIFA 12. The Nokia Asha 311 also comes with 15 levels of Angry Birds pre-loaded onto the phone, perfect for making the most of the touchscreen and 1GHz processor.
*Data costs may apply.
The estimated retail price for Nokia Asha 305 is EUR 63 [US$ 79] and it’s expected to start shipping in the second quarter of 2012. The estimated retail price for Nokia Asha 306 is EUR 68 [US$ 85]. The Nokia Asha 311 has an estimated retail price of EUR 92 [US$ 115]. Both devices are expected to start shipping in the third quarter of 2012. Above mentioned prices exclude taxes and subsidies.

From this should be quite obvious that the Less focus on feature phones while extending the smartphones effort: further readjustments at Nokia [on this Experiencing the Cloud blog, June 25, 2012] statement in the title of that previous post should not be interpreted in a kind of simplistic way. Let’s quote Elop on that from the analyst call yesterday:

Sandeep Deshpande – JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Could you possibly talk about the products that you plan and when the new products will be launched for this, the low end market, which is where you’re seeing some of the problems in China for instance? And how do you see yourself positioning in that market? Is it on price? Or is it the difference with Windows Phone 8that you’re going to position yourself on?

Stephen A. Elop

So thanks. I can’t give you comments on specific products and announcement dates and so forth. But we have signaled very clearly that it is our intention to introduce products at lower and lower price points, and the plans are well advanced in that direction.

In terms of positioning in those lower-priced markets, it is the case that Windows Phone itself, as well as what we contribute as Nokia, are the principal source of differentiation. We do intend to present them as a different experience that we believe is superior, particularly on some of the topics that are of interest, not only all over the world but very heavily an emerging markets, things like social networking. And that doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook in a number of these markets. There’s a number of other environments or social environments that people are using. And clearly, we’ve demonstrated some of that with the early launch of products into countries like China, but you’ll see a lot more of that going forward.

The other thing I’d highlight as well here is on the Mobile Phones side, it is the case that just at the end of Q2, we introduced a new family of Asha full touch products. Too early to call sales results because they’re just moving into channels and so forth, just beginning the sales process. But for a number of people in those emerging markets, at the right price point, which may be below what a smartphone is selling for traditionally, they’re getting smartphone-like capability including Internet access, social networking access and a variety of other capabilities like our proxy browser [see explanation for that further down, related to the MWL topic], all designed to reduce total cost of ownership for those devices.

So it’s partially about Lumia devices coming down but also recognizing in what we traditionally call the feature phones space smartphone-like capability being introduced more and more.

… [much later, in response to a question about “too much and ‘asymetric’ reliance on Microsoft”] … as it relates to shaping our own destiny, we have substantial ability to shape what we’re doing, what devices, what incremental software we build in and around Windows Phone, as well as other platforms, including our Mobile Phones platform, including our location-based assets and so forth. …

And indeed as early as in the first half of July the first Asha Touch device, Asha 305 came to the market: second week of July to Pakistan, third week to India etc. (also available almost everywhere now, including Europe). The market of crucial importance for Nokia now is obviously India, where the brand new product is sold already as low as US$ 72 (INR 3,967) while on Nokia India on-line shop it is advertised for US$ 85 (INR 4668) vs. US$ 91 (INR 5,029) of list price. This is showing clearly that Nokia has quite a big price elasticity potential for the new Asha Touch products!

Stephen Elop made it quite obvious in his remarks yesterday that:

For Q3, with limited near-term visibility, we are providing guidance that has a conservatively broad range. We believe there are several drivers that could move us into the upper part of the expected range. As noted in our press release today, these include: continued improvements in Mobile Phones including strong sales of our Asha full touch products, which were just introduced to market at the end of Q2; lesser impact on Lumia sales during the transition to Windows Phone 8, which would lead to more normal demand for products; and better-than-expected progress against our structural cost savings actions.

On the cost side of the new Asha Touch devices I will further elaborate in a companion post (specifically investigating the “ultra low, manufacturing cost” aspect of them), and will only go through the “superior” User Experience (UX) question in detail here. For that let’s see first a video demonstration:

Nokia Asha 311 touchscreen phone [TheBestOfUppropfdr YouTube channel, July 12, 2012]

Then is the first detailed review from Pakistan as well. This is worth to watch because also showing that people used to review Android smartphones could quite underestimate the power of this new user experience: Nokia Asha 305 – Full Review (Most Indepth) [DrTech0logy YouTube channel, July 12, 2012]

Here is the most indepth review of Nokia Asha 305, Hope this helps you out. Follow me on Facebook [Worth indeed]: https://www.facebook.com/DrTech0logy For suggestions email me on : Dr.tech0logy@gmail.com

What this reviewer is right:

Nokia Asha 305 and 306 are not worth buying, the touch screen is awful, as it is a resistive touch screen, Nokia X2 is the best in this price.

Referring to the question put on her facebook site:

Can you tell me which is a good phone in the price 8,000 to 8,500???

She is also noting in the same thread that:

… we can’t play youtube videos we can only download them …

how’s the video quality and max length of video you can shoot? Wait for Nokia Asha 311 to come out..

[Indeed, before making premature product conclusions wait for the significantly better in those, and even other respects Asha 311 with a capacitive touch screen, Gorilla glass, 1 GHz processor, 3.5G instead of 2.75G of the 305/306, VGA video etc.!]

These are also told in her review video, where the general conclusion, nevertheless, is that this entry Asha Touch device is a good one for that price. [Plus consider the quite large price elasticity aspect (mentioned earlier) Nokia built into as well!] Nowhere, however, she is reviewing the device from the overall user experience point of view.

So let’s examine that in more detail, first with another video from the next to the previous source which is clearly evaluating the UX aspect aspect as well:

Nokia Asha 311 [TheBestOfUppropfdr YouTube channel, July 12, 2012]

… Nokia Asha 311 Review It can be concluded that the touch series is of great deal if you’re looking for a reasonably priced, fully featured and ‘usable’ mobile device. The notification bar and touch experience simply wins the heart of the consumers. The only thing that may dissatisfy the users is the operating system, because it doesn’t offer multitasking support; but, of course they can play music in the background. Plus users can check the notifications also. Nokia Asha 311 Review is beneficial for you then please comments in the below section

It is worth to add to that some technical documentation evidence:

UX overview [a section in the Essentials part of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines, June 8, 2012]

Series 40 Full Touch UI

  • Intuitive, fast, and enjoyable to use.
  • Flexible and relevant personalisation to fit your style; have your favourite apps on My page.
  • Visually appealing; clear and eye-catching graphics and transitions in compact size.
  • Familiar and trustworthy UI, building on Series 40 UI heritage.

The lock [or title] screen is the topmost layer of the UI that people first see when the screen has been waken up. Lock screen is visible when the phone is in locked mode. Its main purpose is to prevent any accidental interactions with the phone while it’s not being used. A swipe gesture from any edge of the screen unlocks the phone and moves to the screen that was active before the phone was locked. On lock screen, people see the current time and date, the status of the phone, and notifications about incoming events at a glance. Lock screen is only displayed in portrait mode.

 
Figure 1. Unlocking the screen

Home screens

There are three home screens: My page, App launcher, and My app. People can swap between home screens by swiping or flicking horizontally.

 

Figure 2. Home screens: My page, App launcher,
and My app (in this case, dialler)

My page:

  • Can be personalised by the user.
  • Contains favourite contacts and shortcuts to apps.
  • Editing the content can be triggered with a long press on the screen.
  • Time and date is always visible on My page.
    • Tapping on the time opens Alarm clock.
    • Tapping on the date opens the Calendar.
  • My page can be scrolled vertically.

App launcher:

  • Shown at the end of the start-up process.
  • Shown when the user has exited an app by pressing end key.
  • Contains all phone apps, on one single page.
  • Also downloaded apps are placed here.
  • The user can reorder the icons by pressing and holding the screen to activate the edit mode.

My app:

  • Three possible apps to have here; dialler, music player, or radio.

Opening and closing apps

On home screen, apps can be simply tapped to open.

The notification baris accessible throughout the UI, but only in portrait orientation. The notification bar is a dynamic zone from which people can always access shortcuts, core functions, ongoing events and missed events. Any new notification takes the top position of the list as the most recent one. When open, the bar accommodates 3 rows of information with notifications and direct links to apps.

Figure 3. Notification bar with new activity, notification bar
after time-out, and open notification bar

Apps are closed with the back navigation path, or by pressing the endkey.


Figure 4. Open an app with a tap. Close it from the Back icon.
Return to the home screen where you opened it from.

More information:

other sections in the Essentials part of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines:
Base layout
Touch strokes and gestures
Feedback
Send & end key
Font sizes
LCDUI universe
other parts of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines:
Overview
UI components
UI patterns
Language and tone of voice
Icon creation
UX checklist
Be UX
Change history
Legal notice

Series 40 UI Component Demos [Nokia Developer project summary, July 20, 2012]

This simple example application demonstrates the basic use of LCDUI [Limited Connected Device User Interface] components. The example is meant for both designers and developers: designers get an impression of how the components actually look on the device and developers learn how to use the LCDUI UI components. The application does not have an engine or further meaning. The texts are “lorem ipsum” and icons are simple thumbnails or images.
Please check the ​Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelinesfor more information.

Considering Metro UI or Panorama Style on Series 40 Full touch devices for designing UI [wiki article of a Nokia Developer project, started on July 16, 2012, not finished as of July 20]

Introduction

Ppp.png

Above picture shows an abstract panorama page. I guess you all used panorama applications on Windows Phone, Nokia Lumia. We use the same concept, but we need to consider the limitations of device like memory, processing power and optimization should be kept in mind.

Designing

UI Components
You need to create all these UI components in canvas on your own, using images and drawing on them. How about painting button on mobile, doesn’t sounds good.
LCDUI Canvas
You can think of an instance of canvas as an artist’s canvas on which you draw images that might include text.
Nothing is Impossible with S40 Full touch UI API

Get Inspired and Start Working

Mui1.png Mui2.png MetroUI3.png
Snapshoot1.png

UI components [a section in the Essentials part of Series 40 Full Touch Design Guidelines, June 12, 2012]

The UI components listed below are the Java components available with full touch styling. Please read the LCDUI Overviewfor a structural overview of the offering.

UI stencils

Series 40 full touch visual design stencils are a collection of realistic user interface views and components. The stencils can be used to create mockups which are close to the final visual result. With this set you can create more refined concepts for presentations to stakeholders. The set contains Nokia fonts and drawing files representing the Java components for Series 40 full touch. The visual design stencils are available for Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe Fireworks CS5, and Inkscape version 0.48 or above.

DOWNLOAD: Series 40 full touch visual design stencils

When creating icons for your application, please see theicon creation guidelines and the Nokia icon toolkit.

Java UI components

With such a superior UX design foundation comes an advanced SDK and a full fledged IDE for Java developers:

Introduction to the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Mike Arvela, Lead Developer at Futurice, provides a guide to the Nokia SDK 2.0 (Beta) for Java. Arvela discusses the new APIs delivered in the SDK, such as those providing multiple touch support. Then he looks at the new and updated features of the emulator, such as support for Nokia Maps in the route editor and the sensor simulator. This video will provide you with a good overview of what is new and what to expect when you start work with the SDK.

Introduction to the Nokia IDE (Beta) for Java ME [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Get an introduction to the Nokia IDE for Java ME. Based on Eclipse MJT, the Nokia IDE delivers features to make your apps development easier. These features include a set of welcome screens, the Device SDK Manager — which makes selecting the SDKs you need easy — and a Nokia specific JAD attribute editor among others. This video will provide you with a good overview of what to expect when you start work with the IDE.

New tools unleash the potential of Nokia Asha Touch phones [Nokia Developer News, June 25, 2012]

Beta releases of Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java and Nokia Web Tools 2.0 are now available. These new Series 40 development tools are your route to realising the extended Series 40 opportunity created by the introduction of the Asha Touch phones.

Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java
In addition to the usual tools — documentation, APIs, and an emulator — the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java contains our first full featured, customised IDE. Based on the Eclipse platform, Nokia IDE for Java will streamline your development activities, with features such as the Device SDK Manager, Nokia specific JAD attribute editor, and a range of code templates.

Listening to user feedback we know that in the past developers have been frustrated with trying to find the right SDK for Series 40 development. With Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java, we are introducing the Nokia SDK Manager. From within the Nokia IDE for Java you can now specify a phone, screen size, form factor, or feature and instantly get a list of the SDKs supporting your choice. The SDK or SDKs can then be installed immediately, right from within the IDE.

Among the code templates you will find one with everything you need to implement an app with in-app purchasing capabilitiesand the JAR attribute editor makes targeting you app package at Series 40 phones simple and straightforward.

Finally, there are a number of updates to the SDK that are designed to take advantage of new features being introduced in Series 40 Touch. There is an updated Nokia UI API that gives you features such as multi-point touch and an implementation of the Mobile Sensor API (JSR-234). The emulator has been updated too with an orientation simulator, the integration of Nokia Mapsinto the location simulator, and useful links built into the emulators menu.

Nokia Web Tools 2.0
Series 40 web apps are the best way to deliver great experiences to Series 40 users that leverage your existing web assets
. With the release of Nokia Web Tools 2.0 you now have the ability to enhance those experiences with features such as file upload and download, password management, and the addition of in-app advertising to your web apps. In addition, there are several improvements in HTML and CSS support, enabling you to deliver richer UIs.

Nokia Web Tools 2.0 enables you to code web apps that take full advantage of these features, and test them on your computer — Nokia Web Tools 2.0 is available for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. The Web App Simulator offers support for the full-touch screen resolution and has been updated to provide a more phone-accurate rendering of web apps.

Within the Web Developer Environment there have been a range of improvements such as enhanced validation — which is now tailored to Series 40 supported HTML, CSS, and JavaScript APIs. There is also a wider range of templates, examples, and code snippets to get you started with common web app content layouts and interaction paradigms, such as sharing on social networks and file transfers. While small, improvements such as keyboard shortcuts and incremental uploads will help speed up your development.

Series 40 represents the single largest opportunity for you to deliver Java and web apps to mobile consumers worldwide. The introduction of Nokia Asha Touch phones delivers these users a near smartphone experience and the updated tools enable you to take full advantage of this in your apps. With accelerating download rates, there has never been a better time to target Series 40.

Indiagames, Psiloc and Liverpool FC have already used these tools to create apps for the new Asha Touch phones and share their experiences in this video:

This video provides an insight into how developers from around the world are taking advantages of the Java and web apps technology in the Nokia Asha Touch phones to deliver great experiences to their users. Hear Indiagames, Psiloc, and Liverpool FC and InfoMedia explain the benefits of developing for the Series 40 Developer Platform and the success they have achieved. Also discover how the latest tools — Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java and Nokia Web Tools 2.0 — have aided with development. Create your Java and web apps for Asha Touch phones:http://www.developer.nokia.com/series40

Psiloc create World Traveler for Asha Touch using the latest Java tools from Nokia Developer [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Wojciech Nowanski, COO, and Muhammad Ahmmad, Creative Programmer, at Psiloc talk about developing World Traveler —an app for business and leisure travellers — for Nokia Asha Touch phones that was created using the latest Java tools from Nokia Developer. Nowanski explains how the application arose from the frustration of not being able to get information about a delayed flight. Now World Traveler puts flights, currency, and world time information at Nowanski’s fingertips. The app took a small team four months to produce. In addition to the features of the Nokia SDK for Java, the LWUIT was of particular benefit in speeding up the development ‘because it has a wide variety of UI components and we don’t have to worry about implementing from scratch,’ says Ahmmad. The most significant aspect of the development was that ‘Series 40 devices are getting smarter and more powerful, allowing us to create richer applications,’ according to Ahmmad. Create your apps for Asha Touch phones using Java:http://developer.nokia.com/java

In addition to the support given to the Java developers the opportunity is a great now to web developers as well. They can develop rich and responsive, true smartphone-like web applications for the new Asha Touch devices:

MinesFinder [wiki article of a Nokia Developer project, July 19, 2012]

This article explains how to write a highly responsive Series40 WebApp. It uses a Minesweeper clone as example.

Note: This is an entry in the Asha Touch Competition 2012Q3

Introduction

If you are writing a Series 40 Web App, you are prepared to cater for the low end of mobile phones. Knowing that the devices which will run your app are very basic should not stop you from trying to deliver a high-end user experience. It is more the other way around, knowing that those phones have limited capabilities should encourage you to use every trick to provide your user with a premium feeling.

In my eyes user experience (UX) has three big topics:

  1. Function – what does the app do, how bug-free is it, etc…
  2. Design – how does the app, and the UI, look
  3. Responsiveness – how does it feel using the app, how fast is it
Of course, there fields have no 100% hard borders. They affect each other and you have to think about all aspects, but I will concentrate on number 3, the responsiveness. And within this part, I concentrate on the speed of the application. To be even more concrete, I’ll talk about reducing these so called “browser round-trips”.
Reducing those round-trips has the highest priority if you try to speed up your app. A round-trip takes almost as much time as opening the app. If the user has to wait 2-3 seconds after every single click the does, he won’t be very satisfied with the experience. In addition, every round-trip is a possible point of error. If the user has a bad internet connection, a round-trip can break the app.

To make sure that this is not only gray theory, I created a Minesweeper clone, MinesFinder. You can find the source in the Nokia Project . I try to get it into the Nokia Store. Until then you can visit [[1]] with your Nokia Browser to play it.

You can play the game without a single round-trip. You can flag fields, dig for mines, get a “You Loose” message if you hit a mine and a “You Win” message if you have flagged all mines correctly. In addition there is a counter, showing how many flags you have already planted.

1. Use MWL [Mobile Web Library, explanation see below] where ever you can.

2. Use JavaScript like a server-side scripting language.

3. Use CSS instead of program logic.

Summary

The Nokia Web Tools, the Mobile Web Library and the Nokia Browser are highly capable tools which enable you to create very responsive apps for a very big audience. But you have to master MWL and you have to think sometimes outside of the box.Using MWL where ever you can, using JavaScript like a server-side scripting language and moving on-demand logic into CSS and the app start will reduce your server round-trips and increase the responsiveness of your application.

Gallery


Main game view.


Settings and info screen.


Cheat mode activated.


You loose.


You win.

 

Overview – Web Developer’s Library [Nokia Developer library page, June 19, 2012]

This topic contains the information you need to develop web applications on the Series 40 platform. Web apps for Series 40 run on mobile phones that lack the processing power and memory to run a conventional browser directly on the device. Therefore, the web browser for Series 40 devices, known as the Nokia Browser for Series 40, has two parts: the web app client and the proxy server.

Developers can create interactive applications using web standards such as XHTML, cascading style sheets (CSS), W3C widgets, and the JavaScript™ programming language. You can easily make rich, interactive pages that run well even on devices with limited resources.

Nokia Browser for Series 40 is a distributed (or proxy-based) web browser that supports full web page rendering on devices with limited processing power and memory, such as some Series 40 devices. On the phone, there is a small browser called the Nokia Browser for Series 40 Client. On a Nokia server, a larger browser application (called the Nokia Browser for Series 40 Proxy server, or simply the server) processes browsed web pages and runs web apps. The server does most of the processing for the handset client, and it communicates with websites on behalf of the client. The server sends the client optimised web page data, reduced in size to be easier to transmit to and process on the phone. The client has a JavaScript library called MWL (Mobile Web Library), which contains code to support application-like interaction on the device. MWL processing should normally be the only JavaScript that executes on the handset.

The following figure shows the Nokia Browser for Series 40 environment.

Liverpool FC Match & News Centre app: web apps for Asha Touch [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2011]

Kathy Smith, Mobile Manager, at Liverpool FC and Sanjay Mistry, Operations Director, InfoMedia, talk about the Liverpool FC Match & News Centre for Nokia phones. Kathy explains that the app provides access to news, club information, and match details. In addition, videos are offered as a premium service. ‘Nokia devices are massively popular in the territories where we have large fan bases,’ says Kathy. The app was developed for Liverpool FC by InfoMedia. InfoMedia chose to create a web app because of the company’s background. In addition to finding the Nokia Web Tools easy to install and use, Mistry notes that the app was built using three of the templates provided with the tool. ‘With the faster rendering of the (Nokia Asha Touch) handset we were able to build out richer experiences … to use higher quality images, use better technology to ensure the user flow and (navigation) swiping … were more intuitive than a standard website,’ says Mistry. Create your web apps for Asha Touch phones:http://developer.nokia.com/series40webapps

This is really showing that Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion” based on software and web optimization with super low-cost 2.5/2.75G SoCs [this Experiencing the Cloud post, Feb 14 – April 23, 2012] had already been technically implemented with these Asha Touch devices. A couple of relevant excerpts from that post showing clearly the company’s new direction which have already been in works during the last 17 months:

Historically, feature phones have been primarily used for calling and text messaging, while smartphones – with the aid of their more capable operating systems and greater computing power – have provided opportunities to access the Internet, navigate, record high-definition video, take high-resolution photographs, share media, play video games and more. Today, however, the distinction between these two classes of products is blurring. Increasingly, basic feature phone models, supported by innovations in both hardware and software, are also providing people with the opportunity to access the Internet and applications and, on the whole, offering them a more smartphone-like experience.
…  some competitors’ offerings based on Android are available for purchase by consumers for below EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies, and thus address a portion of the market which has been traditionally dominated by feature phone offerings, including those offered by Nokia. Accordingly, lower-priced smartphones are increasingly reducing the addressable market and lowering the price points for feature phone.
In Mobile Phones, we have renewed our strategy to focus on capturing volume and value growth by leveraging our innovation and strength in growth markets to provide people with an affordable Internet experience on their mobile device – in many cases, their first ever Internet experience with any computing device. Almost 90% of the world’s population lives within range of a mobile signal, yet there are around three billion people who do not own a mobile device. Of those who do own a mobile device, fewer than half use it to access the Internet for a number of reasons ranging from personal choice and affordability to the lack of an available Internet connection. We recognize that there is a significant opportunity to bring people everywhere affordable mobile products which enable simple and efficient web browsing, as well as give access to maps and other applications and innovations.
We acquired Smarterphone, a Norwegian company that brings new user interface technology and expertise to Nokia. We’ve increased download rates from feature phones to more than 4 million a day by improving store access and payment schemes and adding new apps like Whatsapp, Foursquare and EA. … And we delivered a new proxy browser, and we’re now bringing the browser and web apps down to super low-end devices.
Cavaiani is talking about technology Nokia bought from his former firm, Novarra, and is now using in the browsers of the company’s four new Series 40 (S40) Asha phones. The new S40 browser, like Silk and Opera Mini, is a proxy browser: it uses servers around the world to download content and compress it before the content gets sent to your phone.
Nokia’s approach is a bit different from both Opera’s and Amazon’s. Opera’s servers ingest entire Web pages and send them to phones as static documents in Opera’s own markup language, OBML.v
From what we know of Amazon Silk, the browser on Amazon’s as-yet-unreleased Kindle Fire tablet, it combines a full browser on the Fire with algorithms that pre-fetch pages on Amazon’s cloud servers, and also compresses images and stores them at Amazon.
Nokia’s new browser starts with a basic HTML browser on the Series 40 phones. Nokia’s servers look at desktop Web pages and boil down or remove more complex content, for instance parsing and executing JavaScript and resolving CSS into more basic HTML, Cavaiani said. They also reduce the quality (and the size) of images. There’s no Flash support.
The browser is able to handle dynamic pages that only reload part of the page at a time when the user presses a button. The browser also has deep access to the phone’s hardware, which is different from Opera Mini.
“We can also inject services into the browser. The latest browser introduces a geo-location API, so now that’s open to developers to create geo-location apps,” he said.
The browser even supports widgets, dynamic overlays that can perform actions on Web pages like sharing them on Twitter or translating them into a different language.
Traditionally, proxy-based browsing has offered users a very limited experience, because such browsers typically do nothing more than paint content provided by a proxy. This has changed, with Nokia Browser for Series 40 support for Series 40 web apps. Using Mobile Web Library, the Nokia Browser for Series 40 client can execute JavaScript code in web apps. This code makes it possible to create interactive user interfaces and graphical transitions to deliver users beautiful web experiences. Now web designers and developers can deliver compelling application experiences to users at low cost — both in terms of development effort and user data charges.
With the latest version of the Series 40 browser, Series 40 web apps can now go even further by offering users location aware web apps and the ability to send SMS messages. Location features leverage the network-based location capabilities of Series 40 phones for accurate and timely location information. In addition, performance has been enhanced further with images embedded in a web app now cached on the user’s phone for faster page loads and refreshes. ”
Web apps are small games and applications that you can purchase, or download for free using Ovi Store on your mobile phone. With web apps you can access content from well-known global brands, or the local brands you know and love. Once downloaded, apps are permanently saved within Nokia Browser, so they’re always easy to find and super fast to load. And because web apps are specially optimised for your phone, they provide a beautifully clear and simple way to access your favourite content.
Nokia Browser 2.0 makes use of cloud-based servers which adapt standard web pages so that they perform better on Nokia Series 40 devices. Since web pages are compressed and cached in the cloud, end users can access web sites in a manner which is faster and requires significantly less data to be sent over their mobile network. For pay-per-use contracts this will result in more cost-effective browsing, while users on an operator data plan will be able to do more web surfing without exceeding their monthly usage limits.
The new version reduces data consumption by up to 90%, meaning that consumers can enjoy faster and cheaper internet access. Web sites load up to three times faster in comparison to devices without cloud-accelerated browsing and consumers will also benefit from a number of other enhanced capabilities.
From the first look, consumers are easily able to discover new web content and enjoy one-click access to top, local sites via the Nokia Browser’s inviting and intuitive start page. We have optimized the browser to enable users to easily stay connected with friends and family at the touch of a button as well as to share files and links across social networks. The new and improved Download Manager helps consumers to manage external content easily, saving music, video or pictures on a memory card, while surfing the internet.
The browser includes a revamped, modern user experience that makes it simple to find, install and use interesting web apps that offer a richer, more desktop-like internet experience. Launched in mid-2011, the Nokia Browser is the first browser of its kind to support web apps, and now boasts a catalogue of more than 10,000 of the latest apps. Several publishers have experienced over a million downloads in a matter of months, demonstrating strong consumer demand.
Last year, while media attention focused on the launch of the new Nokia Lumia phones, McDowell was laying the groundwork for the expansion of Nokia’s next billion strategy.
A major part of McDowell’s strategy has been moving away from the idea that Series 40 devices were a “low-end business cash cow” towards smarter, aspirational, phones for everyone:
“We’ve planted the seeds for Series 40. These are not the dumb phones…they are as smart as possible. In reality, the distinction between a smart phone and a feature phone is fairly technical, and when a consumer thinks about a smart phone they think about accessing the internet, downloading apps, anice display… and these are all things we can, and do, deliver with Series 40,” says McDowell.
In Europe and the US we download data without thinking very much about the cost, but in growing economies it is a huge issue. With the Nokia Browser you can get a full internet experience, with very clever cloud compression technology to make that experience affordable.”
Nokia is celebrating selling 1.5 billion phones by looking to the future. … “What we are trying to do is a radical thing. We sometimes forget that half the world’s population does not have a phone. So, celebrating 1.5 billion is great, but it’s backward looking. What we want to say is – we are only half way to where we are going.”
“For a lot of people Series 40 is the first time they’ve ever had access to the internet or a computer. And the story of connecting those people is a huge story, because it will change the world.”
Series 40 began in the late 1990s in flagship devices [first was the Nokia 7110, developed in 1999], sold at fairly high prices to western customers, Vasara said. That has now been transformed into a range that is now selling in huge numbers in high growth economies, at a fraction of the cost.
“The people who buy these phones – and who will be buying these phones – are ambitious, and very aware of technology. They’re young, urban and what we call ‘hyper-social’. In other words, they know what the best of the best is – and we have to deliver a product that is state of the art and affordable.”

The future of Series 40 will be more about the services that you want in your “neighbourhood” – in your own language, delivering information that “feels very local.” Part of that will be working with developers to develop more Series 40 apps.

With all that Nokia had been turbocharging the aging S40 platform for developers in terms of expressiveness, power and development efficiency. The company had already indicated the strategic importance of it in Nokia 2011 fiscal year report [looong PDF, March 8, 2012] in the following way:

In the Mobile Phones business … we plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems. [p. 90, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increasing Importance of Competing on an Ecosystem to Ecosystem Basis]
In support of our Mobile Phones business, we also plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems. [p. 91, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increased Pervasiveness of Smartphones and Smartphone-like Experiences Across the Price Spectrum]
In the Mobile Phones business, we believe our competitive advantages – including our scale, brand, quality, manufacturing and logistics, strategic sourcing and partnering, distribution, research and development andsoftware platforms and intellectual property – continue to be important to our competitive position. Additionally, we plan to extend our Mobile Phones offerings and capabilities during 2012 in order to bring a modern mobile experience – software, services and applications – to aspirational consumersin key growth markets as part of our strategy to bring the Internet and information to the next billion people. At the same time, we plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems. [p. 91, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increasing Challenges of Achieving Sustained Differentiation and Impact on Overall Industry Gross Margin Trends]
By … focusing on driving operator data plan adoption in lower price points with our feature phone offering, we believe we will be able to create a greater balance for operators and provide attractive opportunities to share the economic benefits from services and applications sales compared to other competing ecosystems, thereby improving our long-standing relationships with operators around the world. [p. 93, as part of the strategy for the trends in: Supply Chain, Distribution and Operator Relationships]
Creating a winning ecosystem around our Location & Commerce’s services offering will be critical for the success of this business. The longer-term success of the Location & Commerce business will be determined by our ability to attract strategic partners and developers to support our ecosystem. Location & Commerce is aiming to support its ecosystem by enabling strategic partners and independent developers to foster innovation on top of their location platform. We believe that making it possible for other vendors to innovate on top of Location & Commerce’s high quality location-based assets will further strengthen the overall experience and make our offering stronger and more attractive. [p. 97, as part of the strategy for the trend: Increasing Importance of Creating an Ecosystem around Location-Based Services Offering]

Therefore, such a local partnering strategy had already been in the works some time and quite successfully, as proven by the testimony from probably the largest and most successful local S40 development partner (with 800 million subscribers, mostly in India):
Indiagames talks about their experience developing Java games for Asha Touch [nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2012]

Vishal Gondal, Managing Director of Digital, and Prasad Nair, Executive Producer, Mobile Digital, at Disney UTV talk about the exciting new opportunities they see in the Nokia Asha Touch phones and new tools for Java developers. Based in Mumbai, India, Indiagames has already achieved 100 million downloads on Nokia Store. For Gondal ‘the new Asha touch devices … could be a game changer for a market like India.’ While Nair sees the new ‘APIs, like gestures and sensors, (allowing users) to interact with the games in much more entertaining ways than before’. Nair is also impressed by the new Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java. In particular how the tools, such as the emulator’s orientation simulator, make developing for the new UI and hardware features found on Nokia Asha Touch phones simple and straightforward. Create your apps for Asha Touch phones using Java:http://developer.nokia.com/java

And quoting Gondal:

[2:46] The one piece of advice I can give developers is that content and platforms are very-very local. And while there might be certain pieces of content which may suddenly be global hits, it’s very important for you to look at each market individually, and design and develop for that content. [3:05]

Such an advice is well supported by the strategies and achievements of the company:
Indiagames achieve 100 Million Downloads on Nokia Store with games content focused on India
[nokiadevforum YoTube channel, June 25, 2012]

Vishal Gondal, Managing Director of Digital, Disney UTV talks about the success Indiagames has achieved working closely with Nokia and distributing its apps through Nokia Store. The company focuses on ABCD games — action, Bollywood, cricket, and driving — with a strong focus on localised content. Commenting on the success of Nokia Store, Gondal mentions their RA.One game. Gondal says that he was ‘expecting to do, probably, 500 thousand downloads in six months … but we did 1 million downloads in six days — that is scale, that is the popularity of the Nokia platform (and) Nokia Store.” Read about this and other developer successes onhttp://www.developer.nokia.com/success
More information on leading Nokia developers:
Pico Brothers, an only two-people Finish company, are the second developers to achieve 100,000,000 downloads, reaching the milestone just two weeks after UTV Indiagames. The company’s strategy for success has involved delivering simple, clever apps that provide short bursts of entertainment. Apps like ‘Milk the Cow’, ‘Talking Hamster’ and ‘Flashlight Extreme’ are Pico Brothers apps that deliver instant fun and utility.  They mostly monetize their applications in UK, France and Germany. See: Pico Brothers join the 100 million club [Nokia Developer News, May 4, 2012]
Inode Entertainment, a 10 people Mexican company, is the third developer to achieve the one hundred million download milestone via Nokia Store. It was one of the first publishers in the Nokia Store, has been developing games since 2006, and its portfolio spans Symbian, Series 40, S60, and Symbian 3 (and soon Windows Phone). Most of Inode’s apps are free, but if it feels it needs to price them, it aims for the 99-cent mark. It is developing for several markets exploiting the potential for that in the Nokia Store. See: Gaming for the Masses: Inode Entertainment Joins the One Hundred Million Download Club [Nokia Developer News, June 25, 2012] as well as Inode Entertainment passes 100 million downloads in Nokia Store [Nokia Conversations, June 26, 2012] and Inode Marketing Videos [inodeEntertainment YouTube channel, May 6, 2011]:
Recently Inode began targeting the latest Asha Touch phones as well [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, July 23, 2012]:
Jamie Enriquez, Founder and CEO at Inode Entertainment, talks about the success this Mexican developer has found for its mobile games, apps, and content through Nokia Store. Inode started adding content to Nokia Store three years ago, because of the reach it offers. It was an immediate success and the revenue soon meant Jamie and his brother could hire an additional developer and graphic designer. “The journey has been a lot of fun”, says Jamie. “From having one million downloads last year to 100 million this year, that’s a reflection on how much Nokia cares about their local developers”. At the beginning of the year Jamie set a goal of 3 million downloads per day and Inode is close to achieving that goal today. “We are really happy to keep partnering with Nokia”, says Jamie, “developing for Lumia and Asha, to deliver great games and content for our users”. Read about this and other developer successes
Current (June 28, 2012) Nokia Store Data (note that Lumia apps are in the Windows Phone Marketplace):
– Globally, there more than 120 million registered Nokia Store customers
– Nokia Store offers more than 120,000 apps, and currently drives more than 15 million download requests per day
– Nokia Store has over 100,000 content items available for Series 40 devices, and nearly 25,000 content items targeting Nokia Asha devices specifically, which take advantage of Asha’s more advanced features.
– To date, Nokia Store has driven more than 5 billion cumulative downloads (Series 40 devices accounted for 13% of the first billion, and 42% of the last billion)
– Nokia Store offers operator billing supported by 145 operators, across 52 markets
– 80% of Nokia Store traffic converts to a download
– Apps are No. 1 among paid-for and free downloads
– Nokia Store available in 190+ countries, of which 90% in local language
411 developers have achieved more than 1M downloads through Nokia Store, while 63 have achieved 10M or more, 28 with 25M or more, 9 with 50M or more, and 3 developers have now passed the 100M downloads milestone – namely UTV IndiaGames (IN), Pico Brothers (FL) and Inode (MX)
– See: Nokia Developer – Global reach statistics

7 Comments

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