Nokia has unveiled its first phones running Windows Phone operating system at Nokia World in London
Nokia has unveiled the Lumia 800 and 710 smartphones, its first devices to carry the Windows Phone operating system, at the Nokia World event inLondon.
The Lumia 800 is in the final stages of production and distribution and will be released in theUK in November, as rumoured, with the cost of the device expected to be around €420 (£366) excluding VAT. Nokia says that the user experience is centred on what users value most and CEO Stephen Elop declared that “Lumia is the first real Windows Phone”.
A new dawn
Kevin Shields, senior vice president of programme and product management for smart devices, introduced the user interface and a number of apps.
The Lumia 800 will come preloaded with Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Xbox Live as well as a People Hub which unites all of a user’s contacts. Services unique to the Lumia include Nokia Music, which allows you to listen to pre-setup mixes of locally relevant music and Nokia Drive, making it the only Windows Phone with voice-guided turn by turn satellite navigation with an optimised in-car landscape view.
Shields also demonstrated how to create app shortcuts using the ESPN application.
In addition to the widely expected announcement of the Lumia 800, a second more, affordable Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 710 also debuted. Nokia claims that the Lumia 710 shares many of the features of the Lumia 800 and that it is “unrivalled at its price point” of €270 (£235), excluding VAT.
The Lumia 800 and 710 are the first Windows Phones to be announced by Nokia since it formed a strategic partnership with Microsoft in February 2011 to carry the Windows Phone operating system. Nokia has said that the devices represent a “new dawn” for the company.
“This is essentially a restart for the handset manufacturer,” commented Ovum analyst Nick Dillon, “With Microsoft’s new mobile platform yet to take off and Nokia banking on Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, the success of these devices will be critical to the future of both companies.”
“Considering that Nokia had very little, if no, input into the Mango release of Windows Phone, the company has done very well to differentiate its devices from other Windows Phone licencees, “ he continued.
However, he warned, “Nokia will have a challenge to convince [iPhone, BlackBerry and Android] users to switch to what is a largely unknown, and therefore risky, alternative.”
Brimful of Asha
It is hoped that the phones will extend the reach of the Windows Phone operating system and assist Nokia in taking on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Nokia is still the biggest mobile manufacturer in the world by volume, but its share in the smartphone market has been eroded in recent years, contributing to a decrease in revenue and operating profits.
However, Nokia has experienced better than expected sales for its lower-end phones and Nokia has expanded its range by announcing the Asha line of affordable phones, aimed at emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The Nokia Asha 300 and Asha 305 will debut this year costing €85 (£74) and €115 (£100) respectively, while the Asha 201 and dual-sim Asha 200 will be released next year, retailing at €60 (£52) each.