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Nokia to Sell Asha Phones Allowing Quick Content Sharing

Nokia Oyj, the second-biggest maker of mobile phones in the world, unveiled two models to meet growing demand from consumers in Asia who want features common on more expensive smartphones.

The Asha 205 has a keyboard and a dedicated Facebook button, while the Asha 206 has a 2.4 inch display and access to Facebook and Twitter from the home-screen, Espoo, Finland-based Nokia said today in a statement. Both phones cost $62 and will start shipping this year.

Nokia, which reported its sixth consecutive quarter of losses last month, is depending on its Asha line of mobile phones to help win over first-time users and increase the chances of them buying more expensive phones in the future.

The new devices are targeted at “super-social” consumers, Timo Toikkanen, Nokia’s head of mobile phones, said in the statement. One feature, Slam, allows users to share multimedia with nearby friends almost instantly with the help of Bluetooth technology.

Unlike its smartphone division, Nokia’s basic-phone business is profitable. The company had a 19.2 percent mobile phone market share last quarter after selling 82 million devices, according to Gartner Inc. Samsung Electronics Co. sold 98 million phones, giving it a 22.9 percent share.

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