Today we celebrate the unveiling of the Nokia Asha 210, the first mobile phone to feature a WhatsApp button right on the front of the phone, making WhatsApp more accessible than ever. This button is the outward expression of a years-long partnership that brings reliable messaging to Nokia owners the world over.
To get more background on Nokia’s partnership with WhatsApp, we connected with Nokia’s VP and GM of Global Partner and Application Development, Bryan Biniak.
Working hard and having fun, together
The Nokia Asha 210 represents a huge step forward for Asha phones. According to Biniak, the process of producing the deep WhatsApp integration in the Asha 210 was a project that involved working hand-in-hand through ideation, design, product scope & requirements and supporting WhatsApp’s development and testing cycles.
Through this process, Nokia and WhatsApp gained valuable feedback from their ecosystem of partner operators and customers who’d be using the phone on a daily basis.
The WhatsApp and Nokia relationship goes back many years, when WhatsApp appeared early on Symbian phones and now on both Asha and Lumia handsets.
WhatsApp’s commitment to quality
I asked what sets WhatsApp apart from the competition and Biniak said, “WhatsApp is an agile team that has an amazing focus on delivering a quality message experience to their customers. The team gets distracted by nothing. They work every day to make sure their service is reliable and consistent, across many platforms.”
Why is WhatsApp such a good partner choice for Nokia? Biniak told me that WhatsApp and Nokia align on several fronts. “Both WhatsApp and Nokia are companies obsessively focused on making the best mobile products for consumers. WhatsApp’s mission is to ensure every consumer has access to fast and reliable communication anytime, anywhere.
The Asha 210 leverages the strengths of both companies and provides budget conscious consumers with instantaneous, free access to WhatsApp.
The Nokia Asha 210 – the ultimate WhatsApp phone
The WhatsApp button on the Nokia Asha 210’s keypad is the most notable indication that this phone is tied in with WhatsApp. However, the integration doesn’t stop there.
WhatsApp is integrated into the gallery for easy photo sharing and the team built tie-ins to our Social API for use across the Asha experience. There’s also WhatsApp integration into the contact manager, so now it’s just as easy to send a message to a person via WhatsApp as sending an SMS.
“Because messaging and communication is most useful when you can connect with your family, friends, and colleagues at the moment you want to send them a note, picture or video, we worked with WhatsApp to bring this tight integration to Nokia Asha 210,” says Biniak.
Traditionally with WhatsApp, the rich messaging service is free for the first year and 0.99 USD yearly after that. However, the Nokia Asha 210 with the dedicated WhatsApp button, gives you the service for free for the lifetime of the device.
Designed and built to be socialized
The highly social phone comes in single and Dual-SIM models and features Wi-Fi so Nokia Asha 210 owners can experience the entire Internet with support for Twitter, Facebook and even popular email accounts such as Gmail.
Coming in colors such as magenta, white, black, yellow and cyan and taking design cues from the Nokia Lumia line of phones, the Nokia Asha 210 was designed with the continued theme of bringing personality and individuality to devices. So not only does the Asha 210 let you chat with friends and family, it’s a phone that will have them talking as well.