Nokia Will Offer Consumers Two New Phones, But Do They Want Them?

By Ed Silverstein February 27, 2012

Nokia is using the venue of Barcelona’s trend-setting Mobile World Congress to present two new phones which the company hopes will turn around its lack of competitiveness in the marketplace.

Faced with stiff competition from rivals, Nokia on Monday showed off what is seen as a “low-cost” smartphone that runs on Windows, reports The Associated Press. The Nokia Lumia 610 is Nokia's fourth and least-expensive Lumia smartphone. It is likely to go on sale starting in the next quarter for about $250 without any subsidies from the company. The company describes it as “the perfect introduction to Windows Phone for a younger audience,” according to a Nokia press announcement. 

Often, smartphones are free or low-cost if consumers sign contracts lasting two years.

A second phone is seen as meeting the needs of consumers who want to take photos. The handset, a PureView 808, will have an impressive 41 megapixel camera.

With their features, the phones provide "the actions necessary to improve the fortunes of Nokia," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said to the media assembled for the world’s largest mobile trade show, now underway in Spain.

"With great products for consumers, I think the rest will fall into place," Elop was quoted by The AP in a story carried by TechZone360. “We will accelerate our global reach with new mobile devices and services.”

The AP noted that the announcement may not have been strong enough for investors. Shares of Nokia closed down more than six percent at $5.44 on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on Monday.

Instead of the relatively strong position it once held in the smartphone market, Nokia finds itself struggling against smartphones which use Google's Android software or Apple’s iPhone. ZTE, which makes less expensive phones, is among its other competitors.

Nokia offered the first Windows Phone in October, according to The AP. Nokia has been using Symbian software to run its smartphones.

In comments about the company news, Neil Mawston, an analyst for Strategy Analytics, told The AP Nokia's PureView 808 high-resolution camera phone was "technologically” a “wow,” but it was “integrated” into “a Symbian phone which is viewed as, rightly or wrongly, yesterday's technology, whereas I think there was some expectation that it might be in a Windows phone which is tomorrow's technology.”

But Nokia expressed confidence in the phone. "Nokia PureView imaging technology sets a new industry standard by whatever measure you use," Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices, said in a press release. "People will inevitably focus on the 41 megapixel sensor, but the real quantum leap is how the pixels are used to deliver breath-taking image quality at any resolution and the freedom it provides to choose the story you want to tell."

In a related matter, Nokia recently said it would stop assembling cell phones in Europe and move assembly operations to Asia, according to TechZone360. It will save money as it cuts some 4,000 jobs. The news comes as there were close to 10,000 layoffs announced by Nokia in 2011. Nokia also reported a $1.38 billion loss during the 4Q of 2011, TechZone360 said. In a related matter, Nokia saw less than 30 percent of device market share during 2011, The AP said.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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