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Nokia Unveils Software to Boost Sales of Cheaper Asha Phones

Nokia Oyj, seeking to revive sales of cheaper mobile phones in growth markets such as India, unveiled new software to run its Asha devices and a pact that lets customers use Facebook for free on their handsets.

The software, called the Asha platform, is a revamp of the older S40 program that ran 300 million phones sold last year alone. The updated software will first appear on the new Asha 501, which costs $99 and lets users swipe from screen to screen while multitasking, bringing the functions of cheaper phones closer to higher-end ones such as Nokia’s Lumia.