LinkedIn app now available on Nokia's Asha touchphones

The social networking company hopes to expand its audience in emerging markets

A tailored LinkedIn application is now available for the Nokia Asha 501 as well as a number of other Asha devices, as Nokia works to expand the social capabilities of the phone range.

The new application is available as a free download from the Nokia store, and it allows users to keep up to date with their network, accept connection requests, and communicate with contacts. The application also has a search feature.

This isn't the first time the social capabilities of the Asha 501 have been expanded. Nokia recently announced a Foursquare app for the phone which has a 3-inch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and a choice between one or two SIM cards.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, sees it as an opportunity to let more people in emerging markets access the network from their phones and in the process attract more users.

In addition to the 501, the LinkedIn application is also compatible with the Asha 305, 306, 308, 309, 310 and 311, according to a Nokia blog post. It is available in six languages: English, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, Nokia said.

The Asha product family has become important for Nokia because a lot of the future growth is expected to come from low-end smartphones, and its Windows Phone-based products are still too expensive to address the whole market. But just like its Lumia family, the Asha products are under heavy pressure from low-cost Android-based products, and as a result sales have suffered.

There were recovery signs in the latter part of the second quarter with sales boosted by the launch of the Asha 501, CEO Stephen Elop said when Nokia announced its latest quarterly results. But the mobile phones business unit is still planning to take actions to improve product competitiveness, Nokia said at the time.

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