Nokia, on Friday, expanded its ‘Asha’ line of inexpensive smartphones, which have propped up the struggling cellphone maker as it gears up for the launch of its new top-of-the range ‘Lumia’ devices.

Sales in India and other emerging markets of the affordable Asha devices, since its launch last year, have been “phenomenal”, according to T. S. Sridhar, Regional General Manager (South), Nokia India, who refused to divulge exact numbers.

“The Asha 308 and 309 which we are introducing here today [Friday] will expand the overall Asha touch portfolio for us. We aren’t banking on huge growth in overall mobile sales with this strategy, but more on the replacement market, which is quickly expanding here,” said Mr. Sridhar, at a press conference here.

Broadband experience

The two phones, he said, were aimed at bringing the broadband experience of premium smartphones to the mass consumer, to whom Nokia remains the largest volume seller.

The Asha 308 (dual SIM) and 309 (single SIM) would sell for as little as Rs.6,149 and Rs.6,349 respectively and be manufactured at the company’s Sriperumbudur plant near here.

“While the economic scene might have brought down absolute numbers of subscribers, it’s the upgrading factor that we are looking at. People upgrade their mobile phones constantly. The Asha family serves as an affordable ladder in which customers can upgrade cheaply,” he said.

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