Nokia has extended its Premium Developer Program to Asha full touch developers, the company announced on its blog on Tuesday. This program follows the Premium Developer Program for Lumia, which was launched late last year and has seen many apps developed for Lumia phones.
Members of the program members will receive a whole lot of benefits to assist them in developing better apps and games for full touch Asha smartphones. Developers who create high quality Asha full touch apps will be eligible for further benefits to improve the discoverability of their apps.
This is a great move by Nokia to popularize the development of apps for Asha phones by providing resources beyond what’s provided by the standard Nokia Developer registration, it improves the developers’ chances of success.
According to Nokia, the program has two tiers of benefits, with enhanced productivity tools and app promotion opportunities.
The enhanced productivity tools include
A free Nokia Asha 310 smartphone for development.
Expanded Remote Device Access to test apps on a wide range of different Nokia Asha Devices.
Free tech tickets for Asha development support (valued at $198 USD).
App promotion opportunities include either greater visibility and promotion on the Nokia Store or Credit worth $500 to run paid ad campaigns on the Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX), with access to more than 120 advert networks worldwide.
Enrollment in the Asha Nokia Premium Developer Program is free, but there certain minimum qualifications.For free stage-one productivity membership, developers must provide links to two existing apps they have developed and published on any mobile platform. To access stage-two app promotion tools, developers need to create and publish a new Java or web app for full touch Asha smartphones.
Kenny Mathers, director of developer programs and monetisation at Nokia, explains:
“We’ll be looking for high-quality graphics and user interface, plus great user reviews,” with a minimum rating of four stars from at least 25 Nokia Store user reviews.
We see this has a great move by Nokia to draw developers to develop for the Asha range of smartphone which offer good value for money but is limited by the lack of apps. It is also nice to know that Nokia is putting some marketing power behind phones other than the Lumia range.
What are others up to?
Other companies like have also tried various means to draw developers. Microsoft and BlackBerry are trying to play catch up in the app numbers game, which is rules by iOS and Android. Nokia itself had a similar program for its Lumia devices last year. Promoting app development for BB10 last year, BlackBerry promised developers that they would earn $10,000 in the first year for their certified apps and if they did not, then BlackBerry would make up the difference. Earlier this month, Microsoft also launched the “Keep the Cash” offer, where in developers that met certain criteria would get a $100 virtual Visa card for online purchase. This offer was valid only for US developers.
BlackBerry and Microsoft also have various events across the world like BlackBerry Jam, for developers to learn and showcase their apps.