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Stephen Elop

The headline news at Nokia’s press conference in New Delhi today was the Nokia Asha 501, but beneath the great hardware and new swipe UI is an apps revolution for sub-$100 smartphones.

Apps are at the core of any full-touch smartphone experience, which is as true for affordable smartphones as it is for the flagships. Unfortunately, sub-$100 smartphones have often suffered from a distinctly sub-standard app experience.

Until now.

The introduction of the Nokia Asha platform finally unlocks the sub-$100 smartphone market for developers and signals the start of an application revolution for consumers who need an affordable smartphone.

Apps written for the Nokia Asha 501 will reach all smartphones based on the new Asha platform, without the need for developers to re-write code. This gives developers assurance their apps will perform as they should and gives consumers the confidence to download the apps they find in the Nokia Store.

Nokia Asha 501

Global appeal

And why would developers build apps for the Asha platform?

Because Nokia has already sold 20 million Asha phones since their introduction last summer and sub-$100 smartphones represent the fastest growing smartphone category globally.

Now, for the first time developers can target their apps specifically for this lucrative market, safe in the knowledge that Nokia intends to put millions of the latest Asha smartphones into markets all over the world. We expect to sell 100 million of them over the coming years, beginning with the Nokia Asha 501!

The new Nokia In-App Payment tool combined with the industry-leading operator billing network and Nokia Advertising Exchange means developers can make more money too.

Facebook and Nokia

Many developers are already getting in on the act.

CNN, Difference Lab, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, Pictelligent, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat, World of Red Bull, and several games from EA, Gameloft, Reliance Games and Indiagames are already available, or are in development, for the Nokia Asha platform.

So as you contemplate your next Asha smartphone, why don’t you let us know what apps you’d like to see on the platform?