Nokia's Asha 210 Is a Social QWERTY Phone Two Years Late

Just over two years after HTC released the Status—a QWERTY phone with Facebook integration that never even really mattered at the time—Nokia has decided to roll out its own version: the Asha 210.

Nokia's social phone does at least take into account current trends: in the West and Latin America, it will have a dedicated Facebook button; in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa that'll be replaced with a hardware button linked to WhatsApp. In fact, the WhatsApp tie-in will offers users free use of the service for as long as they own the device

In terms of the handset itself, it comes with a 2-megapixel camera, dual-SIM slots, and a series of new feature phone apps for photo editing and data transfer. None of which is particularly interesting, but then it does only cost $70 (and will start shipping in the third quarter of 2013). Instead, Nokia is going to be selling this phone on its social features.

At a time when even the cheapest smartphones offers a decent social media experience, though, it's tough to see how Nokia will carve out a market for the phone in the West. It may sell well in other regions, but given that Nokia's feature phone range is what's currently dragging it down, it seems an unlikely route to success for Elop and co. Add to that the fact that HTC already tried the idea with the Status—and saw it flop—and it seems an unbelievably poor move two years down the line. Still, at least it comes in some pretty Nokia colors. [Nokia via Verge]