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Nokia smartphones target developing markets

03 Apr 2014  | Jessica Lipsky

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 Nokia Lumia

The Nokia Lumia 930, 635 and 630

Nokia unveiled its three smartphones under the Lumia brand, each supporting Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8.1.

On the high end, Nokia Executive VP Stephen Elop announced the Nokia Lumia 930, with a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quadcore processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The 930 also has a 5in HD display, 20Mpx PureView camera, Qi/inductive wireless charging and four digital microphones for high-performance sound and video.

Lumia 930 will begin selling in Europe, Asia and the Middle East in June, while the U.S. market continues to see the Lumia Icon. The handset will be available with over 100 operators, Elop said, for $599 before taxes and subsidies.

For a lower-tier phone with media punch, Nokia announced the Lumia 630 and 635. Both have Snapgdragon 1.2GHz quadcore processors and aim to be an entry point device to the Windows ecosystem.

At $189 before taxes and subsidies, the Lumia 635 has 4G LTE with a 4.5in display. Lumia 630 has two variants—3G and dual SIM 3G—for $159 and $169, respectively. The dual SIM capability is visible on Windows 8.1, with different coloured tiles for each card and the option to pre-select which contacts will be called on each SIM.

Dual SIM capability is critical in Asian, Brazilian and Indian markets, Elop said. Analysts expect more than 100 million dual SIM smartphones will be shipped in 2016.

"Dual SIM certainly is an economic necessity if you're going to do business with India," Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, told EE Times. "It's market shaking in the sense that Nokia is doing new and novel things that haven't been done before... it will cause a lot of people to revisit their valuation of phones."

Elop showcased the Lumia 630/635 as competitive with fitness bands and wearables, noting that the devices' four standard sensors can be integrated with Bing Health. The handset price also includes Nokia's Mix Radio, which allows users to download music offline. The ability to download offline and use Microsoft Office on mobile will play a huge roll in eastern market rollout.

"A lot of people in the third world buy these cell phones not just for messaging and playing games, but to move their product to market. It's going to be a big help for people," Strauss said.

While Nokia already has foothold in Europe, Wednesday's lower-tier phone announcement is part of a larger market push. Nokia has always believed in offering a wide portfolio of products catering to a variety of consumers, a company spokesman wrote in an email exchange.

"Nokia realises that if they want to succeed... it's growing market is in Asia, Africa, and Europe," Stauss said. "They're trying to be very aggressive and addressing market segments they weren't crossing. Nokia is going to be a market player at the low end."

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