Though Nokia is pinning its future success on the popularity of its top-end Lumia smartphones, the company still makes a lot of money on low-end phones and it has a new one: The Asha 210. Most interestingly it also has a dedicated WhatsApp button which brings free lifetime access to the alternative SMS service.
Costing just $72 for the single or dual-sim functions the phone takes a few design cues from Lumia and has a QWERTY keyboard. It’s definitely a feature phone rather than a smartphone, but given its functionality and price (plus up to 40 hours of standby time) it’s likely to sell well in emerging markets. The WhatsApp button will be replaced by a Facebook function in some nations, meaning Facebook can reach customers in a new way even if the phone isn’t smart enough to run its new “Home” Android front end.
Is this a smart move by Nokia? Or is it really one of the last times this company can pull off a clever low-end phone stunt?