Nokia used to make phones for different price ranges, types of use or even classes of phones. You had classic S30 feature phones for basic use, a wide variety of Symbian and later MeeGo smartphones, pretty much the same we have today. But, there were phones that represented a connection between feature and smartphones and Nokia called it Asha. These half-baked smartphones were conceived as a transition between feature phones and smartphones. It was meant for those that couldn’t afford or didn’t need smartphones but wanted some of their features, like smart apps etc. Asha was what KaiOS-powered phones had to be, but Asha phones were even more.
Asha phones had Gorilla Glass protected touch displays (Asha 311 for example), qwerty keyboards (Asha 210) or a combination of touch screen and T9 keyboard (Asha 300). All the phones were powered by Nokia Asha OS which had a user interface similar to MeeGo, mostly thanks to the Symbian style of icons and gesture controls.
These phones were small as a classic feature phone but again productive with many usable apps like a smartphone. Nokia Mobile bought the rights to the Asha brand together with the rights for Nokia featurephones and for a long time many thought that the Asha series could be revived. However, with Android Go phones being super usable and affordable, a transitional phone series that would bridge the gap between feature phones and smartphones were not needed.
Now after years of being protected by EUIPO, the Asha trademark has been removed from the portfolio of Nokia Mobile. The EUIPO page stated that the main reason is that the trademark has not been successfully maintained. It could be that Nokia Mobile is reapplying again for the trademark and the page automatically changed the status of Asha. But, I don’t blame them if they don’t renew the EUIPO trademark since Asha now belongs to history and there is just no place for such phones with entry-level ones becoming more affordable and powerful.
Long live Asha! have you ever used a Nokia Asha phone and what is your favourite one? I like Nokia 311 the most!