Nokia hints at new form factors and a 'hero device' for Q2

Nokia hints at new form factors and a 'hero device' for Q2

Summary: After rumours emerged this week that phablets and a 41-megapixel device were in the works at Nokia, its chief exec has added more fuel to the fire.


Nokia is not publicly commenting whether it it's planning to launch a phablet or tablet, but the company isn't ruling out adding new form factors to its Lumia lineup in the near future.

Nokia announced its first quarter earnings on Thursday, which saw its Lumia shipments up by 20 percent quarter on quarter — rising to 5.6 million from 4.4 million in the fourth quarter 2012. It also set itself an ambitious target of growing Lumia sales by more than 27 percent over the current quarter thanks to the wider availability of its new Lumia models and the easing of supply constraints.

On a call with analysts today, Nokia chief Stephen Elop said that what's driving this "bullishness" is its next round of product launches, coming this quarter. 

"Additionally, Nokia, Microsoft, and operators have agreed to increase the global Windows Phone marketing dollars towards Lumia," Elop said.

Nokia wants the next Lumia, at least for the US market, to reach "hero" status and says that in the next quarter people should expect to "see another hero move" by the company. 

"Later this quarter, a new Lumia device is anticipated to have hero status with a leading US operator," said Elop, noting that Nokia had achieved this with AT&T and the Lumia 920

Phablet in the works?

Earlier today, the Financial Times reported that Nokia was planning to launch a phablet, similar in size to Samsung's Galaxy Note, but with "more advanced" specs. 

While Nokia declined to comment on the rumours, Elop told analysts today that the current Lumia lineup could be taken in two new directions in future: pushing down price points and "expanding that effort to broader form factors" — a hint perhaps that a tablets and phablets could indeed be on the way.

Elop added the company will continue to differentiate upcoming products through their imaging capabilities — similar to its strategy for the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 920.   

"You should watch for us in the imaging area to continue to advance the state of the art, like what is the best experience on imaging on devices. But you should also watch from us is taking that experience and delivering a appropriate levels of that experience on lower price point devices through the range," he said, giving credence to recent rumours suggesting a flagship handset packing the 41-megapixel sensor last seen on the PureView 808 would be debuting soon.

Topics: Nokia, Hardware, Smartphones, Tablets

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • 41mp are still nonsense.

    No one would ever need 41mp. Professionals used to work with about 6mp and that was more than enough, even for large billboards and stuff like that! You simply don't need more than that. Sure, 41mp would be neat for lots of cropping but who does that? Definitely not average Joe who just wants to share a few shots of last nights party. Professional photographers might use that but hey guess what! They already have their expensive DSLR systems! And since those take much better images you can still crop them without having 41mp...
    It's a load of bull. And it's just adding more fuel to that megapixel myth.
    In terms of cell phone cameras I do like HTCs approach. 4mp, that's more than you would ever need. Add a smaller fixed aperature than what you have on other phones and you have something that works well for everyone. Plus the photos aren't bloody 13MB large so you can actually share them without shrinking them down first... Which is another problem, if you actually want to use those 41mp photos you pretty much have to shrink them down first anyway to about say 3000x2000 (resolution of a Nikon D40, 6mp. Remember that number? :P) for a decent filesize. And that makes those "glorious" 41mp completely useless again.
    • go...

      go read up on why its 41mp... then come back.
    • Oh dear

      You fundamentally don't seem to understand why you are so wrong do you? You need to go and ask someone about optical resolution and then think again.
    • You have no understanding of what you write about

      Go do some research on PureView. Of course it is not about taking 41 MB pictures--that would be silly. However how that 41 MB sensor is used is pure Nokia genius.
  • Great news for Nokia ...

    ... and for the industry as a whole: The more legitimate competition there is, the harder the vendors will have to work and the better the products will be.

    The last thing the mobile market needs is just two big players governing parts availability and features, limiting choice for the rest of us.
  • Honestly...

    ...the carriers want a third player as well. Both AT&T and Verizon have publicly stated in one way or another that they welcome a third player to reduce their reliance no the iPhone and such so that they have more bargaining power with device suppliers. It's not much of a factor at this point for Windows Phone, but things are just getting started.
    • Not much of a factor? Think again...

      When Nokia is selling close to 6 million devices in a quarter, that's 6 million devices that won't be sold by Apple or the Android OEMs, or both combined. Then, when they predict a jump of around 27%, perhaps bringing sales to some 8 or 9 million devices quarterly, then, it becomes a hugely disruptive force in the smartphone arena. That is the biggest nightmare for companies like Apple, who are no longer expanding their sales numbers. Lesser sales for Apple means less profits, and a declining market cap, with has dropped down to less than $400 billion in the last few days.

      You can bet that Apple and the Android makers are looking at the rising sales, even if they are comparatively tiny at this point.
    • Not much a factor in North America

      But Nokia is a growing factor in many other areas of the world. Not enough yet but the trend is looking good.
  • I have a 920

    And it's the best device I've owned, my previous handsets being an Android-based HTC device and two Blackberries. What separates Nokia, in my view, are their value-added apps including Drive and Maps. The City Lens and Music were also pre-loaded, but I deleted them after several months on non-use.

    And the camera ... Wow. Many writers have pointed out that the low-light capabilities are almost game-changing, and I can't disagree. I took some night time pictures at a harbor front a couple of weeks ago and the resulting images were stunning in their quality.

    If Nokia can continue to identify areas of opportunity to add value, then they will see incremental success.

    Now, about that "Windows-only" strategy. Uh....
    • Windows only strategy makes sense

      because of the money they get from Microsoft for marketing and development. It's the reason they went that way. They could also do Android and be another "me-too" Android developer and get little to no help from Google and none from MS...

      Plus, would the 920 be the best handset you've owned without WP8? I'd have to say no. It could be Android, but then it wouldn't be as smooth and would require a larger battery and a faster CPU/GPU to do what it does today without issue.
  • I like my Windows Phone

    I agree with the previous poster. The Lumia 920 is the best phone that I have owned. The apps that Nokia provide are top notch and the camera is great.
  • Great Hardware!

    All they need is a good OS and they'll sell like hotcakes!
    • Windows 8 Pro won't fit in there, so, they'll have to settle for the WP8,

      which is the second best OS, next to Windows 8.