Messaging app Line partners with Nokia to accelerate global expansion



NHN Japan, the producer of the wildly popular Line chat app, announced yesterday that it has partnered with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) aiming to accelerate the app’s global user acquisition. The company is making the app available on Nokia’s Asha handset, a low priced smartphone (ranging from $100 to $200) that has topped more than 200 million units sold globally.

Line will be available on the Nokia Store by the end of March, but some features such as free voice calls will be added later on after the initial release. With this partnership, NHN Japan is targeting new users in South East Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa where Nokia’s budget Asha handset is popular. The two companies will work together to promote the handset and the app at merchant storefronts in these regions.

The Line app is now available on several different mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and even Japanese feature phones. Currently at the Nokia Booth at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, a test version of the app is installed on exhibited Asha handsets so that visitors can try it out. Japanese tech news site RBB Today has several still images of this, which they shot at the exhibition booth.

Line recently surpassed the 100 million user milestone, having originally launched back in June of 2011. If you’d like to learn more about it, check out our video overview of the app below.

For more information on the growth of Line, please check out our interactive Line Timeline which chronicles its growth from its launch back in 2011 up until the present day.