LONDON — Culminating more than eight months of work in partnership with Microsoft, Nokia unveiled its new line of phones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, the Lumia line.
At Nokia World 2011 here, the company’s annual event for customers, partners and developers, Nokia demonstrated the first smartphones in its Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia range. The Nokia Lumia 800 brings content to life with design, Nokia’s best social and Internet experience, familiar Nokia elements, such as leading imaging capabilities and new signature experiences, the company said. Meanwhile, the colorful and more affordable Nokia Lumia 710 is a no-nonsense smartphone that brings the Lumia experience to more people around the world.
However, users in parts of the world other than the United States will get their hands on the new Nokia Windows Phones earlier than those in the United States. Nokia will begin shipping the phones to Europe in November and in Asia by the end of the year, However, “We will be introducing a portfolio of products into the United States in early 2012,” Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop said during his keynote.
“Lumia is the first real Windows Phone,” Elop said. With the new Lumia line, “We are signaling our intent right now to be today’s leaders in smartphone design and craftsmanship, no question about it,” Elop added.
“Eight months ago, we shared our new strategy and today we are demonstrating clear progress of this strategy in action,” Elop said. “We’re driving innovation throughout our entire portfolio, from new smartphone experiences to ever smarter mobile phones. From the Nokia Lumia 800 to the Nokia Asha 201, we are bringing compelling new products to the market faster than ever before. I’m incredibly proud of these new devices – and the people of Nokia who have made this happen.”
“Since Nokia’s major strategic shift only eight months ago, the company has found a new energy. It has provided substantial improvements to Symbian, managed to differentiate on Windows Phone and it continues to build on its strong portfolio in mobile phones,” said Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys, in a statement. “Nokia is delivering on its pledges, and is clearly demonstrating its path to future success.”
The Nokia Lumia 800 comes in vivid colors — cyan, magenta and black — and features some of the best social and Internet performance, with one-touch social network access, easy grouping of contacts, integrated communication threads and Internet Explorer 9, Nokia said. It features a 3.7 inch AMOLED ClearBlack curved display blending seamlessly into the reduced body design, and a 1.4 GHz processor with hardware acceleration and a graphics processor. The Nokia Lumia 800 contains an instant-share camera experience based on leading Carl Zeiss optics, HD video playback, 16GB of internal user memory and 25GB of free SkyDrive storage for storing images and music.
“You see the Carl Zeiss face plate; of course you do,” said Kevin Shields, senior vice president of program and product management for Nokia’s smart devices. “It’s a Nokia; it’s going to have a great camera”
The estimated retail price for the Nokia Lumia 800 will be approximately 420 euros, excluding taxes and subsidies.
Meanwhile, The Nokia Lumia 710 can be personalized with exchangeable back covers and thousands of apps to bring the Lumia experience to more people around the world. The Nokia Lumia 710 is designed for instant social and image sharing, and the best browsing experience with IE9, Nokia said. It is available in black and white with black, white, cyan, fuchsia and yellow back covers. With the same 1.4 GHz processor, hardware acceleration and graphics processor as the Nokia Lumia 800, the Nokia Lumia 710 delivers high performance at an affordable price. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Lumia 710 will be approximately 270 euros, excluding taxes and subsidies.
Nokia also has thrown in some free goodies for users in the way of exclusive apps for the new Lumia phones. Both smartphones include signature Nokia experiences optimized for Windows Phone, including Nokia Drive, which delivers a full-fledged personal navigation device (PND) with free, turn-by-turn navigation and dedicated in-car-user-interface; and Nokia Music introducing MixRadio, a free, global, mobile music-streaming application that delivers hundreds of channels of locally relevant music. In an update to be delivered later this year, Nokia Lumia users will also gain the ability to create personalized channels from a global catalogue of millions of tracks. Also integrated in Nokia Music is Gigfinder, providing the ability to search for live local music for a complete end-to-end music experience, as well as the ability to share discoveries on social networks and buy concert tickets also coming in the Nokia Music software update delivered later this year.
Completing the ultimate mobile audio offering, Nokia also introduced the on-ear Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster and the in-ear Nokia Purity Stereo Headset by Monster, co-designed and co-developed by Monster, a leader in high performance audio. Both products provide a fresh listening experience and are the first output of the exclusive long-term partnership between Nokia and Monster, intended to introduce a range of premium audio accessories to reflect the quality and bold style of the Lumia range.
The new Nokia Lumia 800 is now available in select countries for preorder on www.nokia.com and is scheduled to roll-out across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November, with 31 leading operators and retailers providing unprecedented marketing support in those first six countries. It is scheduled to be available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year, and in further markets in early 2012.
The Nokia Lumia 710 is scheduled to be available first in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan toward the end of the year alongside the Nokia Lumia 800, before becoming available in further markets in early 2012.
Nokia also announced its plans to introduce a portfolio of products into the United States in early 2012 and into mainland China in the first half of 2012. In addition to the existing products, which include coverage for WCDMA and HSPA, Nokia also plans LTE and CDMA products to address specific local market requirements.
Meanwhile, Elop said Nokia is using its relationships with carriers and retailers to push the new Lumia line of Windows Phones. Chris Weber, president of Nokia US, said Nokia is working with retailers to incent salespeople to promote and sell the Windows Phones. He added that Nokia would be offering “custom” phones for the U.S. market.