Nokia Lumia 521 Offered as a T-Mobile Exclusive
The low-end device, which sports a dual-core 1GHz processor, is expected to cost around $180 without carrier subsidies.T-Mobile announced it will exclusively offer the Nokia Lumia 521, a smartphone that features a 4-inch touch-screen, 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and 720p high-definition video recording. Beginning in May, the Lumia 521 will be available through Walmart, Microsoft's retail stores and T-Mobile retail channels. Exact availability and pricing of the device will be shared at a later date, a company release stated. The device will also include exclusive Nokia applications such as Nokia Music, Cinemagraph, Creative Studio, Panorama, Smart Shoot and Here Drive, Maps and Transit. The low-end device, which sports a dual-core 1GHz processor, is expected to cost around $180 without carrier subsidies. The handset also includes 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot and runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system. Nokia's decision to abandon its native Symbian operating system in favor of the Windows Phone OS represented a huge gamble for the company, and so far the payoff is far from certain. Nokia's brand loyalty is on the decline, and countless customers who previously bought the company's handsets are now switching to other products with better features, performance and applications, like Android handsets or the Apple iPhone.
T-Mobile is also rolling the dice in a separate gamble: The nation's fourth-largest carrier is the last of the top-four carriers to offer the iconic iPhone, but it's doing so in a brand-new way. Marketing the offer as an "un-carrier" move, T-Mobile is selling the iPhone without a contract for either $579.99 up-front or—to those who pass credit checks—for $99 down and 24 monthly payments (interest-free) of $20. That's for the 16GB model. The 32GB model is $199.99 down and the 64GB is $299.99, both also with 24 payments of $20.