Four new devices launched with the cheapest hitting a mere Euro 15
Nokia has filled the gaps in its portfolio with the announcement of four new mobile phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The most affordable of the devices costs just Euro 15, as the manufacturer seeks to provide a complete range of phones to bring all users across the globe back to its formally dominant brand.
The company launched the Nokia 105, Nokia 301, Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. All the devices have been designed to fit into the existing distinct style currently seen in the Lumia range, with bright colours, high contrast black and bright screens, and smooth, simple shapes.
Stephen Elop, CEO at Nokia, stated from Barcelona: 'We are reinventing the battle for more affordable devices. Two years ago we outlined a new strategy for Nokia. That strategy is to deliver great mobile products at all the price points to people around the world. We strongly believe we have to rapidly innovate at the high end, then bring that innovation cascading down into all our devices. We are completely focused on our strategy announced two years ago for Windows Phone as our operating system, and we continue to be focused on that.'
Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst at research firm, Ovum, commented on Nokia's announcements: 'The new Lumia's leave Nokia with nowhere to hide in terms of industry scrutiny, with devices now covering most bases in terms of price points, connectivity, and segmentation. A full range of Lumia devices is essential to Nokia's ambitions to claw back the market share that it has lost since Symbian's fall from grace. The Lumia 520 and 720 are also vital to Microsoft's ambitions for Windows Phone, with Nokia clearly providing the beacon and catalyst for the platform.
'However, creating a virtuous circle of supply and demand will be vital if the partners are to truly drive uptake and market acceptance after a slow start. This will require an even greater marketing push and more focus on retail outlets than we've seen to date. It will also be necessary to avoid the supply problems that took the shine off the Lumia 920, which has otherwise proved itself popular with reviewers. This will be helped by Nokia's continued investment in materials and build quality, which shine through, especially in the Lumia 720,' Cripps warned.
Nokia's 301 is a small, slim candy bar design with QWERTY keyboard, available in both single and dual SIM 3G versions, an upgraded internet experience, improved camera and HD voice. It also comes with embedded Twitter, WhatsApp, eBuddy and youTube apps, a self-portrait assistant, and Nokia Slam for sending pictures to other devices fast.
The Nokia 105 is an entry point phone priced at Euro 15. It is again a small, slim device with a QWERTY keyboard, designed to be a first or back up phone. This no frills device has a handy flashlight, and an old school battery that can be charged once a month.
Nokia's Lumia 520 is a fun, affordable entry device for those looking to try out Windows Phone 8. It runs on a 1GHz dual core processor and had 8G of internal memory that is expandable. It has the same camera as the Lumia 920, including Cinemagraph that allows the user to add animation to a photo plus filters, to create a picture with movement. It also comes with an emphasis on Nokia Music, Nokia 'Here' for Maps, Drive and Transit, and Photo Beamer.
Finally, the Lumia 720 is aimed at the non-LTE market as the company aims to broaden its reach. This device has a 4.3 inch black display, better readability from different angles, and high quality Carl Zeiss optics with a F1.9 aperture, one of the largest apertures available on a smartphone. This allows more light into the camera and creates some of the best picture clarity that Smart Chimps has ever seen on a smartphone. The device also has a high quality front facing camera and uses Place Tag to combine location details with your pictures.
Elop also announced a series of new collaborations that will benefit the developer community: 'We are being bolder. One way in which we are being bolder is making the 'Here' suite available in non-Nokia mobile phones. 'Here Maps' will be part of the new Mozilla Firefox operating system. And we are helping developers to monitise and distribute their apps for Windows Phone 8. We are working with Dreamworks to deliver some great new experiences for Nokia phones, and we will provide developers with access to augmented reality, location based services and imaging APIs for unprecedented development opportunities.'
The Lumia 520 is available now priced at Euro 139 before tax and operator subsidies. The Nokia 105 and 720 will both be available in the first quarter, with the 720 priced at Euro 249. And the Nokia 301 will be available in the second quarter this year priced at around Euro 65.