Can Windows Phone & ASHA – New Touch Interface save Nokia ?

It seems that Asha Touch’s main sales proposition is low cost of ownership. Devices are good value and consumer less data than a traditional smartphone. Yet, low-end Android phones are falling below the $100 level and can be equipped with data efficient proxy browsers (e.g. Opera) and can be set up to utilize WiFi for data heavy usage.

Asha Touch has many similarities to Symbian (Nokia’s failed smartphone platform). Both were based on relatively old Nokia software – Both were upgraded primarily through user interface improvements, Neither have been seen as priority platforms for application developers, Both have differentiated by offering smartphones at lower prices than anyone else.

Timing is likely the key issue around Asha Touch’s growth. Most of the vendors selling lowcost Android phones have limited international distribution capabilities. Samsung remains a key threat in many of the emerging markets.

Windows Phone Adoption in 2013
We fundamentally like the Windows Phone platform’s user interface and believe that broader adoption of Windows 8 on PCs and laptops will boot Windows Phone’s appeal. Traction to date has disappointed but shows signs of picking up. Unfortunately it coincides with the imminent launch of BlackBerry 10 which may dilute Windows Phone’s share of operator advertising and subsidies targeted at a “3rd eco-system”. The other concern is that the benefits Nokia offers Windows Phone users over other handset vendors are not (we believe) immediately apparent to most consumers and likely need a strong point of sales presence marketing campaign.

To become more positive on Nokia’s Lumia potential we would like to see new product launches that feature slimmer and lighter designs; that make better use of some of Nokia’s imaging capabilities; that are able to win some head to head reviews with the iPhone and Galaxy S in tech journals; and are more broadly available across geographies and operators.