Nokia is vying for control of the sub $100 (€77) smartphone market, by opening up its Asha platform to apps developers.
The vendor last week released a development kit for the platform, in-app payments, production, and deployment of applications among the tools on offer. Nokia also unveiled the first smartphone based on its new platform, the Asha 501, and predicted shipments of devices based on the software will hit 100 million in coming years.
“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in consumer demand for apps for our Asha smartphones,” explains Marco Argenti, head of developer experience at Nokia. “With the new Asha platform, developers will be incentivized to deliver those quality apps, previously only found on high-end smartphones.”
Nokia’s move comes just days after shareholders told chief executive, Stephen Elop, they are running out of patience with the slow turn around in fortunes in that top tier of the market, and urged a rethink of his decision to switch to Windows Phone software.
CNN, ESPN, Facebook, and LinkedIn are among firms that have already developed, or are working on, content for the Asha platform.