Nokia seeks rebirth through new product line

Lumia steals thunder and Asha impresses at Nokia World 2011


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Nokia put on an impressive show at the unveiling of the new Lumia and Asha smart phones on 26 October.

The Nokia World keynote showcased the new contenders, which are a result of Nokia’s progress on its strategy by unveiling a bold portfolio of innovative phones, services and accessories, including the first smartphones in its Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia range. Nokia has since February repositioned and moved forth with a new, modernized strategy. 

“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,” says Pete Cunningham, Principal Analyst, Canalys. 

“Eight months ago, we shared our new strategy and today we are demonstrating clear progress of this strategy in action. We’re driving innovation throughout our entire portfolio, from new smartphone experiences to ever smarter mobile phones,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO. “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.” Indeed, during the keynote, a live video feed from the Nokia factories showed Nokia Lumia 800s being packed for shipping. The release of the Lumia is already scheduled for November, at a price of 420. 

The Lumia 800 is now available in select countries for pre-order 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 Lumia products are a result of Nokia’s synergy with Microsoft. Andy Lees, president of the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft said: “Today marks a remarkable first between two industry-leading companies.

Nokia brings state-of-the-art industrial design and outstanding global distribution, while Windows Phone brings it to life with an experience that puts people at the centre.” Meanwhile the Asha line, running the S40 OS offers a QWERTY keyboard and touch screen experience, while integrating social networking, messaging and applications available at the Nokia Store. Nokia continues its mission to deliver high quality, stylish devices that provide the best access to social networks, the Internet and information, and offer the best overall experience and value proposition for the next billion mobile phone users. 

These consumers want access to innovations such as easy-to-use dual-SIM, local services and content, and third-party apps, all with a superior user experience for which Nokia mobile phones are known. These devices comprise the new Asha family of Nokia mobile phones. Derived from Hindi – meaning ‘hope’ – Asha signifies Nokia’s focus on positive user experiences and connecting millions of people to new opportunities that help them reach their aspirations. 

Nokia also took the opportunity to unveil Nokia Music with a mix radio feature, which is the hidden gem in Nokia's unveiling, aiming to match up contenders in the mobile music serving industry with a more consumer-friendly approach.

Other announcements included Nokia Maps, now powering Yahoo! Maps, starting with the US and Canada and an agreement with the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority to develop a NFC-based smartphone ticketing solution to pilot on New York regional commuter trains starting before the end of 2011.

It remains to be seen whether Nokia World 2011 will be enough to reinvigorates Nokia, pitting them head to head with the leaders of the smartphone market, HTC, Appe, and Samsung. The Lumia line is certainly impressive, quick, slick, and with hardware to support the next step forward.

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