MWC 2013: Nokia aims to broaden Windows Phone appeal with new Lumias

MWC 2013: Nokia aims to broaden Windows Phone appeal with new Lumias

Summary: Nokia has introduced four new mobiles at Mobile World Congress 2013, including new Lumia models and lower-end devices aimed at emerging markets.


Nokia has announced four new handsets that will join its portfolio of Lumia and Asha devices that will share design cues across the ranges, and aim to bring smartphone functionality to more cost sensitive markets.

Stephen Elop, chief executive of Nokia, introduced the Nokia 105, Nokia 301, Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 on Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Nokia Lumia 720. Picture credit: Nokia.

The devices will share a unified design approach and were described by the company as "pure", "human" and "advanced". For the lower-specced devices, the aim is to bring the features of its high-end siblings to a lower priced device.

Elop said that people deserved the same rich experience in a handset, regardless of how much was spent. He also noted that the Windows Phone app store was now home to more than 130,000 apps.

"We are bringing elements of our high-end flagship Lumia devices to more prices and therefore to more people," Elop said.

The Lumia 720 includes a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display with an 800 x 400 pixel resolution and like its older 920 sibling, the 720 puts some emphasis on its camera performance. It includes Carl Zeiss optics and a wide aperture lens to let in more light, as well as a 6.7-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.3-megapixel snapper on the front for video calling or stills.

Ahtisaari said the 720 was "engineered for non-LTE markets" and is "a sleek expression" of the best Lumia elements.  It's also the first of Nokia’s handsets to have a unibody design but also support microSD cards.

The Lumia 720 will arrive in Asia in the first quarter of 2013 and will cost €249 before taxes and subsidies, Elop said.

The Lumia 520, described by Nokia as "the most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone", brings some of the camera features found on higher-end devices such as Panorama and Cinemagraph and also includes popular Nokia services such as the HERE Suite (HERE Maps,  HERE Drive and HERE Transit).

The 520 is due to go on sale first in Hong Kong and Vietnam this quarter and will be followed by Europe and the US in the second quarter of the year.

"We're going broader, and we're doing it by being better. In our industry there is a lot of talk about differentiation, but doing something different for the sake of being different isn't better," Marko Ahtisaari, head of Nokia design, said.

Nokia 301 and 105

The Nokia 301 will come in a number of different colours, like many of Nokia's cheaper handsets, and includes a number of camera-specific features usually found on more expensive Lumia devices. It will also come in either single or dual-SIM variants. It also includes mail for Exchange and HD voice features.

"We are bringing elements of our high-end flagship Lumia devices to more prices and therefore to more people" — Stephen Elop, Nokia

The Nokia 301 is due to go on sale in 120 countries during Q2 and will cost just €65.

Nokia also introduced a basic handset designed as a successor to the Nokia 1280. Ahtisaari said the Nokia 105 had an "amazing battery life" that could be charged just once per month.

It will cost just €15 and is due to go on sale in China, India, Indonesia, Russia and the Middle East before the end of Q1.

The event is still going, so stay tuned for more.

Topics: Nokia, Mobility, MWC, Smartphones

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Excellent Product

    My 15 year old son just got a new Lumia because he said the other phones were getting boring. I have to admit, the phone is very solid and has a super fast system. Every aspect of the phone is great especially the built in wireless charging. I am switching back to Nokia when my contract is up.
    Sean Foley
  • Each of the "smar phones" has cost nokia between 50 and 80%

    of their market.

    Since they are down in the 2% level, I guess that these phones will take them down to 1% or less.
    • No

      In most other markets there are no price subsidies.
      • price subsidies haven't helped yet.

        Even with the current win phones it hasn't helped.
  • Just another dumb move by Nokia

    If they want to compete against Apple and Samsung, you need to complete by putting out quality products, not by releasing some piece of garbage throw away phone, with inferior hardware, when compaired to their Lumia 920. They have an awsome phone (Lumia 920). They need to first get their head out of their ass and get the 920 on Verizon and Sprint. Then build off the 920 making it better and better.
    • re: Sprint

      I'm giving up on Sprint and moving to AT&T. I've got a Sprint HTC WP7 phone that my contract is almost up on. While I've been happy with WP7 and unlimited data, I'm looking forward to WP8 (as a 25+ year MS stack software developer, there's no way in hell I'm going with Android or iOS), a bigger screen, and, most of all, 4G LTE. Sprint has been asleep at the wheel for like two years now. I live in the Portland, OR area (home of Intel, lots of high tech, and Fred and Carrie), and we're not even currently on Sprint's published plans for 4G LTE deployment. And they currently have no WP7 or WP8 phones, period. I've looked into both Verizon and AT&T as replacements. No unlimited data sucks, but otherwise their shared plans seem about the same. The big difference between the two is the availability of the Lumia 920 from AT&T. Another thing that suck is that the Samsung Ativ S is unavailable from any U.S. carrier.
      Sir Name
    • Nope

      I think the obvious point is that Nokia isn't primarily competing against Apple, nor the Samsung high-end. Most of Nokia's success before Windows Phone was with lower end SymbianOS phones in price sensitive markets.

      So its perfectly logical for them to pursue these markets. Nokia in the USA is all but unknown except for their free candybar phones -- no one here seriously regards them as comparable to Apple or the Android high end, at least not yet. Sure, we nerds also know they made some very cool Linux phones you couldn't get here either, but the average buyer thinks of Nokia as low end.

      But Apple's priced out of many markets where SymbianOS once ruled. They do have both Android and BadaOS to contend with, but Nokia launches in these places as a well known smartphone brand.
  • MWC 2013: Nokia aims to broaden Windows Phone appeal with new Lumias

    Nokia has high quality built phones so its good to see them expand so that everyone can try them. It will also give Microsoft Windows Phone 8 a boost as well.
  • This is smart

    Nokia already has a reputation in price sensitive markets, where they did extremely well with SymbianOS smartphones. They really can't take on Apple or the Android high end very effectively in the USA, where the average phone buyer regards Nokia as the purveyor of those free, dumb candybar phones. This is not a comment on their quality, just their market presence here.

    But Apple has little to no presence in the more price sensitive markets. Nokia has a good reputation there with smartphones. Sure, they have to compete with Android and BadaOS, but it's going to be a more level playing field.

    And they have to move on this, now. All the new smartphone operating systems, including Firefox OS, Ubuntu for Phones, Tizen, etc see emerging and price sensitive markets as their ticket... and some of the perception is certainly due to the hole Nokia left by slowly ending SymbianOS. They have a good shot at gaining ground in these markets, but the clock is ticking.
  • A Welcome Option

    I am a serious iPhone/Apple fan... their products are solid and the UIs are well thought out. I tried the Android approach and it was miserable, but at least the MS interface is functional and easy to learn. As well, the Nokia devices are fairly solid and functional, which is something I can rarely say about most Android offerings I have put my hands on.

    The only down-side I can see is the "Made in China" band-wagon. A move away from Chinese manufacturing could actually be a business and marketing plan that could bring them back into the mainstream by appealing to the millions of consumers who are looking to avoid any form of sponsorship of China's multitude of ethical deficiencies. I do believe this was a business concept once referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility. But at least Nokia has avoided partnerships with those such as Beats Audio; so they avoid association with someone who made their career promoting criminal, gang-related, and sexist activities... they are halfway there... I hope Nokia can make this work.
    • millions of consumers expressed their preference time and again

      their priorities are

      1. price
      2. color
      3. quality

      you can find "where it was made" somewhere on that list as well but you would have to scroll down all day to get there.
  • Re: A Welcome Option

    In case you are not aware, Apple's iPhones are made in China too.
    Rajeev George
  • Nokia continues to gain momentum

    I think we all have to realize that most of the world is relatively poor and people can't afford to spend $1,200 a year on a mobile phone/contract. We are spoiled, if you will, in the developed countries where our mobile devices have become basic expectations. We really can't afford them here either, but we have credit cards so we can pretend we can.

    Nokia continues to gain momentum. People/companies don't switch technologies quickly because people don't like change. But as more and more people switch to Windows Phone, vanity will take hold and more and more people will follow. Then the vanity will turn to admiration and miraculously Microsoft/Nokia will have a major winner on their hands and the tides will turn in the tech world.

    And the tides always turn. Look back through tech history and you'll find that few first movers are still relevant, if they exist at all.