Today, I saw a billboard around Ojuelegba in Surulere marketing Nokia’s Asha 305 and 311 as smartphones. Yes; smartphones. Unfortunately, I was driving and so was unable to take a picture. If I didn’t see it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it should anyone else had told me. But, yes; I did see this.
The first thing that crossed my mind was, “Are things so bad that Nokia is going down the route of pushing feature phones as smartphones?”
Then, it occurred to me that they wouldn’t be the first to do so. Remember the original iPhone? A pure feature phone, but cleverly marketed by Apple as a smartphone? The iPhone 1.0 couldn’t have third party apps (not even Java) installed and had no multitasking, not to mention the other numerous lacks on iOS version 1.0. At least, the Asha phones allow installation of third party Java apps, even if they lack multitasking. Then there’s USB-on-the-go, microSD card slot, and more.
As far as I can tell, the Asha devices are closer to true smartphones than the original iPhone was. If it was okay for Apple to push the iPhone 1.0 as a smartphone, then I am forgiving of Nokia pushing these devices as smartphones as well. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Are the marketing guys at Nokia finally learning the fine art of hype marketing?
In the meantime, Say hello to the Nokia Asha 305 and 311 smartphones.