Continuing to bank on emerging markets being the next big opportunity for smartphone growth, Nokia Thursday unveiled the $99 Nokia 501 touch-screen at a launch event in India.
The colorful 501, running the Finnish company’s Asha platform, reverses a current smartphone trend by sporting a relatively small 3-inch display. With fairly slow max GSM data speeds, the 501 isn’t designed to do much heavy surfing, but it’s good for basic communications/social functions, equipped with Wi-Fi and has good battery life.
The Wall Street Journal noted that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop seemed enthusiastic about future demand for sub-$100 smartphones saying that the market could be worth $40 billion by 2015.
Elop’s hopes for the ultra-cheap smartphone market seem in line with Strategy Analytics’ projections. The research firm said sub-$100 smartphones could make up close to 25 percent of the global smartphone market by 2017 and account for more than $240 billion in sales.
Nokia announced the device will go on sale in June.