Nokia to Roll Out Windows-Based Smartphone, Three 'Affordable' Devices

By Erin Harrison June 21, 2011

After a longtime struggle against rivals iPhone and Android, Nokia plans to unveil a new smartphone later this year using Micosoft’s Windows platform. The company also announced Tuesday its launch of three new affordable phones: the Nokia C2-02, Nokia C2-03 and Nokia C2-06, an apparent effort to boost its dwindling market share.

At an industry conference in Singapore this week, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop unveiled the new smartphone, the N9, “that uses software the firm plans to ditch, a move analysts said would probably condemn the device to obscurity,” according to a June 21 Reuters report.

The N9 uses Nokia’s own MeeGo software, and Elop said he has “increased confidence” that the struggling Finnish mobile phone maker will launch its first Windows Phone device this year and ship in volume in 2012, according to Guardian Web.

The Nokia N9 introduces a new design where the home key is replaced by a swipe. “Whenever you’re in an application, swiping from the edge of the display takes you home,” according to a company statement released Tuesday.

Once the clear leader in hand phones, Nokia’s favorability has declined significantly as it has gone up against Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices, and “at the low end of the market to Asian rivals such as China’s ZTE and India’s Micromax,” Reuters said.

At a telecoms conference in Singapore, Elop said Nokia would launch its first smartphone using Microsoft’s Windows platform later this year, yet unveiled the new all-screen N9 smartphone that uses its MeeGo platform.

“Our primary smartphone strategy is to focus on the Windows phone,” said Elop, who transitioned from Microsoft to Nokia last year, yet provided few details on how he would control further dips on Nokia’s market share.

The N9 model can be navigated by a single finger swipe and comes in black, cyan and magenta colors in a polycarbonate design. The Nokia N9 is scheduled to be in stores later this year, with availability and local pricing to be announced closer to the sales start.

Meanwhile, the three “affordable” devices Nokia is now offering include Internet, maps and messaging in both dual and single SIM options, according to Mary McDowell, the head of Nokia’s Mobile Phones business unit.

“These phones all offer a Web, maps and messaging experience second to none in the market. And with the choice of a touch screen or a keypad, we really have made everything available and easy to use in an affordable phone that comes in both Dual or single SIM options,” she said in a statement.

The estimated retail price of the Nokia C2-02 and C2-03 is approximately $105 and for the Nokia C2-06 it is $112. All of the devices are expected to hit the market in the third quarter of 2011, Nokia officials said.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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