Nokia is reportedly prepping a line of low-price, entry-level Windows Phones for unveiling at Mobile World Congress, according to reports.
Nokia is apparently gearing up to present some lower-price
smartphones at this years Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, according
to a new
While Nokia decided last year to use Microsofts Windows
Phone as its primary smartphone operating system, the Finnish phone maker
apparently isnt ready to wholly abandon its old software platform, Symbian.
According to a pair of unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg, a camera-focused
phone will make its debut at MWC (indeed, a video posted by Nokia
on YouTube hints at some development along those lines). In addition, Nokia
will roll out a set of lower-price, entry-level smartphones at the
Unnamed sources speaking to Reuters also suggested that a
set of cheaper smartphones loaded with Windows Phone would appear at MWC.
When Nokia CEO Stephen Elop made the decision in 2011 to
abandon Symbian in favor of Windows Phone, arguing that Microsofts software
could better combat Apples iPhone and the growing family of Google Android
devices, analysts and pundits greeted the move with some skepticism. Indeed,
Nokias global market share continued to decline throughout the year, as users
abandoned the Symbian platform ahead of the rollout of the first Windows Phone
By January 2012, Nokia had unveiled three smartphones: the
Lumia 710, a midrange device retailing in the U.S. for $49 with a two-year
contract; and the high-end Lumia 800 and Lumia 900. Both Nokia and Microsoft
believe that offering a selection of hardware at all the markets price points
will ultimately help in their mutual quest for increased Windows Phone
There are some early signs that Nokias Windows Phone
strategy is paying off. The company announced it had sold 1 million Windows
Phone units in the fourth quarter of 2011, surpassing some analyst
expectations. However, net sales declined 21 percent from a year ago, and the
overall quarterly results suggest there is significant ground to cover if the
company wants to challenge Android and Apples iOS.
We still have a tremendous amount to accomplish in 2012,
Elop wrote in a Jan. 26 statement linked to Nokias most recent earnings, and
thus, it is my assessment that we are in the heart of our transition.
In addition to Nokia, other manufacturing partners such as
HTC have committed to building a new generation of Windows Phones loaded with
the latest version of Microsofts software. During Januarys Consumer
Electronics Show, for example, HTC announced the Titan II, a 4G Long-Term Evolution-capable (LTE-capable)
device with a 4.7-inch WVGA screen. Its rumored that similarly advanced
Windows Phones will make an appearance at WMC.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter