Samsung goes after Nokia's Asha with new REX smartphones

Earlier this week, rumors hit the Internet that Nokia could be dropping Samsung as one of the major parts suppliers for its smartphones. Now we may have a reason for this reported change as Samsung has announced plans to launch a new line of inexpensive smartphones that could rival Nokia's Asha line.

Samsung's press release introduces the REX brand, which will launch with four devices – REX 90, REX 80, REX 70, and REX 60 – that have screen sizes ranging from 2.8 to 3.5 inches. The phones run on Java and feature Samsung's TouchWiz UI. As you might expect, they are not exactly designed to compete with the iPhone or serve as a replacement for the Galaxy S III, although they will have support for apps such as Facebook and Twitter and come with a version of the Opera web browser.

While Samsung has not revealed a price point for the REX phones yet, it's clear that they are designed to be very cheap and made for markets such as China and India where most of the population cannot afford the higher end smartphones. Nokia has sold a lot of its Asha line of smartphones designed specifically for these markets. Nokia recently announced it sold 9.3 million of the Asha phones in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Samsung has yet to announce a launch date or territories for its REX smartphones.

Source: Samsung | Image via Samsung

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19 Comments

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Wait. So they'll run yet another new OS. So Samsung is making yet another fail low end mobile OS of their own, cause Bada didn't get screwed up enough.

I am starting to think Samsung will have to start coming up with their own phone designs soon, not being able to "borrow" stuff from Apple and now Nokia.

korupt_one said,
I am starting to think Samsung will have to start coming up with their own phone designs soon, not being able to "borrow" stuff from Apple and now Nokia.

How are they borrowing anything from Nokia?

Wow, Samsung is very publically stating that they don't want a cozy duopoly with anyone. Samsung intends to dominate the tech sector and by making this move they can strike at Nokia while Nokia is weak and potentially Kill Nokia.

Can't wait to see how this all plays out. By showing their cards in such a public way Samsung may have put too much attention on itself.

This looks like a renaming of their Champ series. At the moment Samsung Rex lineup is pretty mediocre compared to Nokia's Asha series featuring 3G, WiFi, capacitive, resistive, touch and type, Gorilla Glass protected, dual and single SIM devices. Nokia's devices have better designs and run on S40 giving it a major advantage. S40 currently has a very established software ecosystem and the Asha series devices feature a toned down version of Swipe UI which debuted on Nokia N9. Nokia also have an advantage with its Nokia Music store which is said to be the biggest online music store here in India. Many other major Nokia services including Maps are also available for Asha.

If Samsung wanted to take on S40 they needed to bring their Bada OS to these price points but instead they merged it to Tizen.

I didn't say they would kill Nokia what I said was "Samsung intends to dominate the tech sector and by making this move they can strike at Nokia while Nokia is weak and potentially Kill Nokia." If you don't see what Samsung is doing as a threat to Nokia then you've got blinders on.

All I'm saying is that Samsung is taking on Apple, and to some degree Microsoft and now they are making a push into a market that Nokia currently dominates. To a certain degree the quality of the REX handsets matters but all they need to do is perfect what they are offering and they could end up taking share from Nokia.

So the Asha phones didn't even count as smartphones on all the market share numbers,but these android ones do. Nokia sold almost 10 million of em last quarter and they didn't count. There are alot of these dumbphone like android phones and they're counting as smartphones.

vcfan said,
So the Asha phones didn't even count as smartphones on all the market share numbers,but these android ones do. Nokia sold almost 10 million of em last quarter and they didn't count. There are alot of these dumbphone like android phones and they're counting as smartphones.

What? These aren't Android phones. It specifically states that these phones "run on Java and feature Samsung's TouchWiz UI".